When you are in an airplane of metallic cylinder that is hovering through the air at 600 mph, it’s nice to know that the strange things you hear and see don’t mean you’re going to die. Here are a couple of airplane noises that you shouldn’t worry about.
One, two, or three (or more) Chimes
Each airline uses chimes differently. One chime can be the pilot warning flight attendants of turbulence or the flight attendants asking if the pilot wants a cup of coffee. Two chimes usually means that the airplane is approaching 10,000 feet.
Three or more chimes indicates a more serious issue, such as a very sick passenger or impending extremely rough air.
“Doors to arrival and cross-check”
When an airplane’s doors are closed, an escape slide is automatically enabled. “Doors to arrival” reminds flight attendants should disarm the slide, and “cross-check” is a directive to double-check the door of another flight attendant.
Banging While Boarding
It’s very common to hear banging when boarding a plane or waiting in your seat at the gate. This is just the cargo being loaded onto the plane below the cabin.
A lot of airlines plug into the airport’s electricity source when airplanes are on the ground. When an airplane pushes away from the gate, the pilot will switch from the ground power source to the one on board, which will cause the lights in the cabin to momentarily flicker.
Two Thumps and a High-pitched Whir Right After Takeoff
When the plane lifts off the ground, the pilot pulls the wheels into the plane’s body and closes the flaps behind them, one at a time (thump, thump). That whir comes from the pilot retracting the wing flaps that were needed to get the plane off the ground.
Both of those actions are part of the process of “cleaning up the plane” to make it streamlined for flight.
White “smoke” In The Cabin
The white smoke you’re seeing streaming from the air vents is the water vapour (similar to fog) that appears when warm and cool air mix. A lot of the time, the white vapour will appear in hot and humid conditions, either with the plane on the ground with its doors open or when an airplane flies through a storm.