20 Random Facts About Traveling In Airplanes

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2018.

air travel facts

Over the years, I’ve covered a lot of about air travel here, from surviving plane crashes to letting you know how terrible United’s business class is. But this is Geek Takeover Week so I wanted to take some of the more interesting and obscure facts sprinkled throughout thousands of posts, boil them down, and offer a highly concentrated dose you can shoot right into your neurons.

These are 20 random facts you might not have know about traveling by plane.

1. Fear of flying is called aerophobia.

2. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States limits commercial airline pilots to 1,000 hours of flight time per year.

3. 76% of people involved in plane crashes survive.

4. This is what those marshaling signals mean:

marshalling signals air travel

5. There are secret seats on planes you can reserve.

6. The average passenger plane angles up 12.5 degrees during takeoff.

7. Commercial flights often begin their descent 90 minutes prior to reaching their destination.

8. During an average 8 hour flight, time dilation causes you to be .0000003 seconds in the future compared to people on the ground.

9. 80% of plane crashes occur during the first 3 minutes and last 8 minutes of a flight.

10. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner’s engines are powerful enough to allow it to fly straight up.

11. Frequent flyers have about a 1 in 20,000 chance of dying in a plane crash.

12. Germans are the most internationally traveled people in the world.

13. A trip across the Atlantic Ocean is 9,000 times safer than it was in 1918.

14. People who survive the initial impact of a plane crash, yet still lose their lives, do so because they try to take their carry-on luggage with them.

15. Sitting any further away than 5 rows from any exit row greatly reduces your chances of surviving a plane crash.

16. People taking flights of 4 hours or more are more than 3 times likely to develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

17. The FAA has a tool you can use to calculate how much ionizing radiation you’re exposed to on a given flight.

18. Layovers shorter than 24 hours don’t count as an extra stop on a plane ticket.

19. The busiest airport in the world is Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta.

20. Passenger planes bank a maximum of about 30 degrees during a turn.

  • And here’s a bonus fact for you: on average, there are roughly 500,000 people in the sky, traveling in planes, at any given time!

The list goes on in the posts linked above if you want to learn more details. For even more knowledge, here’s 8 peculiar facts about Moldova, things you probably didn’t know about Egypt’s pyramids, and 10 (surprisingly) interesting facts about Porto’s bridges.

The Top 7 Most Popular Geek Takeover Week Posts Ever

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2018.

george takei

A long time ago in 2012 in a milky way galaxy, I began what has become an annual August tradition around here: Geek Takeover Week. While most of the world is melting, traveling, or some combination of both, myself and other geeky guests takeover to post to the nerdiest topics that come to mind. It’s a 5 day detour of the usual and in case you’re new to the site or were too busy drinking something on some beach, these are the most popular Geek Takeover Week posts of the past 6 years.

1. A Super-Fan Shows You How To Plan Your Very Own Harry Potter Tour In London

london harry potter tour

The youngest person to ever guest post for foXnoMad, 15 year old Potterhead Brian shows you how to add a bit of magic to the English capital.

2. Which Star Wars Character Would Be Best To Take A Gap Year With?

star wars road trip

An intense debate and solid arguments by guest writer Dave.

3. Where Leonard Nimoy’s Famous Vulcan Salute Came From

vulcan salute

For me, it all began in Moldova.

4. An Insider’s Guide To Saving Money, Meeting Celebrities, And Otherwise Hacking The Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

stlv art

The unconventional way to visit the convention coming from years of experience.

5. Ford Asked Me To Find America’s Most Offbeat Road Trip Destinations In Their New 2015 Unminivan, Here’s Where I Went

extraterrestrial highway

The nerdiest road trip you can plan within the United States.

6. From Hacker Meetups To Star Trek Conventions: Where And Why Nerds Travel


Adventure takes many forms.

7. An Interview With Teras Cassidy, Who Takes Travelers On Awesomely Geeky Tours

geek nation tours

Such a great idea.

Open Submissions

I hope you enjoyed this look at the most widely shared Geek Takeover Week posts since 2012. Every year submissions are welcome and if you’re interested in contributing, send me a telepathic message or subspace transmission here.

How Much Does The Average Passenger Plane Angle Up During Take Off?

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2018.

madrid airport

You might have wondered as the wheels of the jumbo jet you’re in gently leave the ground how high up the nose of your plane is angled up. What feels like a fairly mild angle when you’re inside the plane looks like a mild airshow stunt when you’re watching from the ground, so, how much does a typical passenger plane angle up during take off?

Caveats Away

Let’s start but clarifying the answer is a detailed, “it depends.” Details, by pilot standards, are important, as in i.e. not crashing. For our purposes though, we can generalize. Your plane’s angle going up (called the “angle of attack”) varies by the size of the plane, engine power, wind, and load on the aircraft. Those are some of the physical considerations but then there are also practical ones. Airport traffic is one example; and the reason flights often begin descent 320 kilometers (200 miles) from their destination.

sky combat ace

Angle At A Time

Planes slowly angle up during take off at about 2-3 degrees per second for a Boeing 747. A bit of quick math and using the same Boeing 747 as an example, the average passenger plane has a maximum take off angle of about 10-15 degrees. That’s well within the plane’s tolerances of course. (The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner can go almost straight up.) Much like the 30 degree turns most jumbo jets max out at though, angles are kept moderate to make you feel most comfortable, save on fuel, and be as safe as possible.

Nothing More Than Feelings

The angle of attack will feel more pronounced depending on where you’re sitting in the plane. Up in business class on a larger airplane gives you the sensation of a steeper angle, closer to the wings and it will feel less pronounced. Though now you’ll know really what that angle is, giving you more time to calculate time dilation from traveling so fast and far from Earth. For (still) nervous flyers, these 7 plane crash facts might make you feel better. Or not.

Cosplay Pictures From The 2018 Creation Star Trek Convention In Las Vegas

This post is part of Geek Takeover Week 2018.

cosplay stlv klingons

One of the things you can expect from the Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention every August is cosplay. As I mentioned last year, the number of people dressing up and the complexity of the costumes has increased noticeably since 2011, with 2018 being no exception.

Here is some of the best cosplay from the 2018 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention held at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino this past week.

Santa Gorn

santa gorn


khan stlv



IIDC Dinosaur

dinosaur stlv


andorians star trek las vegas

Discovery Desert Gear

star trek discovery desert


klingon cosplay

A Cardassian, Andorian, And Vorta Walk Into A Bar…

cardassian andorian vorta cosplay


stlv cosplay

Pokemon Crossover

pokemon cosplay las vegas

Voq And Captain Killy

voq and captain killy


tardigrade cosplay discovery


ferengi cosplay

Mirror And Mirrorless Spock

mirror spock cosplay


lego cosplay

Orion And Starfleet

orion cosplay

Troi Family

troi family cosplay


cosplay las vegas

These are just some of the cosplay pictures I took from the 2018 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention. You can check out the full gallery here, and take a look back at the cosplay from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017.

Geek Takeover Week 2018 Is Here

no exit klingon

This week – and it’s a full week – of posts may have little or nothing to do with travel or technology. You probably won’t see them for a while since you might be traveling yourself. It is, after all, one of the busiest travel times of the year. Still looking for travel and technology? There’s plenty of that here and here.

But every August on foXnoMad geeky posts takeover. I’ll have a new post each day covering science, science-fiction, fantasy, and more through Friday. Following Geek Takeover Week, regular, twice a week posting resumes on Thursday, September 6th.

Monday: Geek Takeover Week 2018 Is Here

Tuesday: Cosplay Pictures From The 2018 Creation Star Trek Convention In Las Vegas

Wednesday: How Much Does The Average Passenger Plane Angle Up During Take Off?

Thursday: The Top 7 Most Popular Geek Takeover Week Posts Ever

Friday: 20 Random Facts About Traveling In Airplanes

I hope you enjoy this deviation from the norm. If you’re interested in participating in next year’s Geek Takeover Week, feel free to get in touch. 01000101 01101110 01100111 01100001 01100111 01100101!

What To Expect At Your First Creation Las Vegas Star Trek Convention

creation las vegas star trek convention

You might be a Star Trek fan who’s finally decided to attend a convention (or be the friend roped into it all) that’s got no idea what goes on at the annual 5-day Creation Entertainment event in Las Vegas. To help prepare you, here’s everything you need to know about the Creation Star Trek convention held at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino every summer.

Why Las Vegas?

There are plenty of Star Trek conventions around the world but the Las Vegas event held at the Rio All-Suite hotel is North America’s largest. (Creation’s convention competes with several in Germany every year for the world’s largest attendance.) Over 15,000 people are expected at the 2018 convention.

What Do You Do All Day?

There are events all day and night planned for the August 1-5th convention but most first-timers have no idea what that means. The easiest way to put it into perspective is to think of the Las Vegas Star Trek convention like Comic-Con, but focused on Star Trek. There are 30-60 minute panels throughout the day which consist of talks plus Q&A sessions with Star Trek actors, directors, writers, and artists like Oscar winner Michael Westmore. (I highly recommend his book Makeup Man for the Michael Jackson stories alone.)

makeup man bookMakeup Man: From Rocky to Star Trek

buy from amazon

Additionally, Creation invites scientists and other engineers to hold discussions on space exploration. Several engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be giving talks on current and fictional Star Trek technologies that may become reality in the near future. (Sorry, transporter technology seems the longest shot.)

klingon armor discovery

People tend to float in and out of the talks, making their way through the vendor room where there’s all kinds of nerdom represented. Need a Starfleet uniform or a Darth Vader mug? The vendors will have it. There are also a lot of independent artists and creators selling handmade crafts as well, in my opinion the most interesting items sold at the convention.

In the evenings you can opt for additional events like a 45-piece orchestral performing Star Trek: Live, or swing by the Masquerade Bar where by Thursday night the entire hotel has been taken over by Star Trek fans.

Do You Need To Dress Up?

No – but a lot of people do. Uniform t-shirts are common but then there are real cosplayers, peaking on Saturday when an annual costume contest is held. Here are pictures of the best cosplay from 2017 and 2014 to give you an idea but what you wear is up to you.

star trek cosplay

Why Do People Go To Star Trek Conventions?

For a variety of reasons but basically to have fun with other people who are really passionate about Star Trek and science fiction in general. In 2017 I asked a bunch of people why they go to Star Trek conventions, here’s what they said:

People who make it to their first Las Vegas Star Trek convention often return year after year. You see the same people and it has almost become an annual pilgrimage for many, much like Comic-Con is for other fans. If you’re in the Las Vegas area August 1-5, 2018 and interested in attending, you can purchase individual day tickets here (I would recommend Saturday if you’re choosing just one) or get all 5 days at a discounted rate.

Once you’ve got your tickets, you can check out this insider’s guide on saving money, meeting celebrities, and making the most of the Creation Las Vegas Star Trek convention. Qa’plah!

About Anil Polat

foxnomad aboutI'm the blogger and computer security engineer who writes foXnoMad while on a journey to visit every country in the world. I'll show you the tips, tricks, and tech you can use to travel smarter. Read More

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