15 Lies About Airplanes Movies Keep Telling You

Movie writers and directors often feel at liberty to make up stuff about airplanes, like you've never seen one. And the fact is, they're sort of right -- most people's experience with planes is just sitting in one for a while, like it's some kind of high-altitude, disgusting waiting room. You've used the bathroom and sipped the coffee (or avoided it), but such things are unrelated to aeronautics. Outside of that, you have only movies to go on.

Well, that's over now. We are here to set your aerial facts straight. Starting with...


You won’t walk unharmed after ejecting from your plane. The high acceleration is very likely to cause serious damage, like neck injuries and broken bones. That is, supposing that everything works as it should and you don’t get killed in the process.

Source: Business Today


LIGHTNING WON'T BRING YOUR PLANE DOWN. Planes are struck by lightning constantly - but they're built to deal with that. The high- power currents will travel through the plane's metal skin and exit at a different point, barely causing the lights to flicker.

Source: Scientific American


IT'S REALLY NOT A GOOD IDEA TO TAKE OFF YOUR MASK IN A FIGHTER JET. Fighter jets aren't pressurized like airliners are, and on top of that, high-G maneuvers can make it hard to breathe - so pilots need their oxygen masks on to, you know, not pass out and

Source: Sandboxx


STEALTH AIRCRAFT AREN'T REALLY UNDETECTABLE. No aircraft can be invisible to radar - the point is fooling the enemy into thinking it's something else, blending in with the background noise. This is becoming more and more difficult, as radar tech evolves.

Source: Military & Aerospace Electronics


FLYING A PLANE ISN'T LIKE RIDING A BIKE. You can't just hop into the cockpit after years on the ground flying a plane is a complex skill set, and you lose it if you don't use it. You'll need a refresher course before taking off again.

Source: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association


AN AILERON ROLL IS NOT A BARREL ROLL. In a proper barrel roll, the plane follows a spiral path as it rolls on itself (like it was skating on the inside of, well, a barrel). If it just rolls while going in a straight line, that's an aileron roll.

Source: KnowledgeNuts


YOU'RE NOT DOOMED IF YOU LOSE YOUR PLANE'S ENGINES. The engines' job is to give you forward thrust it's the wings that keep you in the air, and you still have those (hopefully). You may have as much as 20-30 minutes to find where to land.

Source: Flight Deck Friend


YOU CAN'T OPEN AN AIRLINER'S DOOR MID-FLIGHT. The pressure difference between the inside and the outside of the airplane keeps the door safely plugged into place. You'd have to overcome a pressure of thousands of pounds to open it.

Source: Business Insider


THE AUTOPILOT DOESN'T FLY THE PLANE BY ITSELF. Pilots don't just sit there while the autopilot does all the work for them. Automation does make flying easier, but in the end it's just another tool the crew uses.

Source: National Geographic


A hole is unlikely to suck you out of a plane. The decompression will be hard indeed, but it will be over in a matter of seconds. You may be sucked out, but you have to be right next to the hole when it opens, and it has to be a huge hole to begin with.

More: 5 Myths About Flying Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)


BEING A PILOT DOESN'T MEAN YOU CAN EXPERTLY FLY ANY PLANE. While the basics are always pretty much the same, each airplane has its own systems, features, and capabilities you have to learn. Switching planes requires more training than just switching cars.

Sources: Wayman, Traveltalk


THE SONIC BOOM IS NOT VISIBLE. When a plane is flying through moist air close to the speed of sound, shockwaves can create a vapor cone around it. But that isn't the sonic boom, which is much harder to pick up with a camera.

Source: BBC


A PLANE CRASH DOES NOT MEAN CERTAIN DEATH. If a plane crashes in a movie, you know everyone is doomed. In real life, if you do everything the crew tells you, you have a 95% chance of survival.

More: 5 Myths About Flying Everyone Believes (Thanks to Movies)