Do You Know Why Window Shades Must Be Kept Open During Takeoff and Landing?

By: | October 20th, 2016

Have you ever wondered why airplane passengers are always asked by cabin crew to raise their blinds along with other things like having seats in the upright position, people seated and buckled, and so on at the start and end of every flight?

These practices are for the safety of passengers and for the flight crew’s benefit, but experts have now revealed other reasons behind this.

Take offs and landings are considered to be critical times in aviation, as many complications can occur during this time. These instructions are a part of a long process to prepare the cabin for sudden (unexpected) emergencies. In the case of an emergency, the cabin crew has only 90 seconds to evacuate all passengers irrespective of the size of the aircraft or the number of passengers.

Open shades help the crew to see outside conditions to help them in planning the evacuation. Open shades can also provide help through passengers because as some curious passengers keep looking outside, they are perfect extra eyes to see if something goes wrong out there to alert the crew to a problem in the flight.

It also helps ground emergency personnel outside to see inside the cabin. During daytime, it is advised to open the window shades and cabin lights are put to full to make people’s eyes used to sunlight so that in the case of an emergency evacuation, a sudden change in light contrast doesn’t lead to temporary blurred vision. For the same reason, in night flights, window shades are open, and cabin lights are dimmed.

So, cabin crew and other airline staff prepare every flight in advance to make the evacuation possible in the short period of 90 seconds if required.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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