Why do pilots say squeaks

No reason to worry

The situation in the small simulator on Air Berlin's training grounds in Essen is a bit oppressive. Reconstructed in a huge hall: an aircraft cabin. The air is stuffy and the space between the seats is narrow. - Just like on a real flight. Pilots and stewardesses practice everyday life here. And as with a real flight, it gets a little louder when the simulator starts.

It rattles, it jerks, everything like a real start. For the pilot Kristian Feller everything is normal, but for some passengers it is the moment when the stomach growls. But actually there is no need to panic.

"The slight rumble. It's very simple: the wheels that accelerate on the asphalt. And a runway also has recessed lights, and we roll over them. And that's why we have a slight knock: clack, clack, clack, clack. "

It is above all the ignorance that makes some passengers feel queasy. Because hardly anyone knows exactly where the noises come from and what they mean. In addition, passengers cannot intervene - a feeling of powerlessness. Regardless of whether you only go on vacation once a year or regularly flying is part of your job.

"Sometimes you are a little afraid, but then that happens again."

"Actually, I have a good feeling on the plane."

"I can't assign that correctly, I have to say. It's a bit tense because you're not sitting alone either."

"Of course it depends on where you sit. On the wings. Of course, I always like to sit where there is an emergency exit, if you continue to fly it's always a bit safer if you then know what is happening and you are then quickly outside. We flew with a machine once, it rattled unbelievably, and you get a bit scared. Although I think a lot happens with machines, but not with the one I'm sitting in. "

When the aircraft takes off, the noises in the machine are still very loud. Shortly after taking off, however, it sounds as if the engine is suddenly going to stop. Kristian Feller has been a pilot for 20 years, and now he mainly flies short and medium-haul flights. The engine has never gone out on any of his flights, he says with a smile. There is another reason why the machine becomes much quieter shortly after it has started.

"First the landing gear retracts. At a certain height, the engine thrust is reduced because we don't always fly with take-off power, which makes it sound like the engines are going out, but of course that's not the case."

Twice a year both stewardesses and pilots have to go into the simulator. All possible scenarios are practiced here. Communication seminars are also part of the training of the flight crew. Here the team learns how anxious passengers can be reassured. The simulator has now reached cruising altitude. It hums softly. Every now and then it sounds like someone outside is hitting the plane. Completely harmless says pilot Kristian Feller: This is wind that blows against the machine. Only when landing does it rattle and rumble more powerfully.

"We extend the landing flaps in order to be able to fly more slowly. To increase the lift of the aircraft. That then also causes more air resistance. This also increases the air noise. We extend the landing gear, which is the same as when taking off. It So it gets loud first, the landing gear extends, the flaps close and then it's a little quieter again. "

In the past, flying was a privilege for a few. In times of low-cost airlines, however, more and more people are traveling in the air. This also means that there are more people on board who are afraid of flying, says pilot Kristian Feller. Especially of course on flights to the classic holiday destinations in the south. Some airlines have reacted and are now offering special training against fear of flying so that rumbling, hissing and humming no longer cause panic.