Published: 06th December 2019
Got questions about planes and flying? This 23-year-old from Hyderabad has all the answers
Rakesh Dhannarapu did his Master's thesis on averting aviation bottlenecks, which also explored how we can optimise airport functions to speed up the process for flyers
Have you ever thought about why aircrafts are painted white or about why if planes are so safe, the staff insists that all passengers wear seatbelts? These and many more frequently asked questions about aviation, aircrafts and pilots have been answered in the book 101 Flying Secrets written by debutant author Rakesh Dhannarapu. The book was launched on December 5, 2019. Having pursued his Master's in Aviation, specialising in Airworthiness, from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia, when he found he had three months of vacation at hand, this 23-year-old decided to make the best of it and write this book, starting mid-2018.
Saying it simply
"Whichever manuals, reports or books I referred to were technical in nature, there was nothing that was passenger-friendly which is how the idea came about," says Hyderabad-based Rakesh. He took up as many as six internships over the period of time he was pursuing his bachelor's and that's when he came across these manuals. In fact, one of the challenges he faced while writing the book was cutting through all the aviation jargon of the manuals. "It took a lot of my time and energy to demystify all the physics, aerodynamics and aviation jargon into simple and plain language," says the youngster.
Rakesh Dhannarapu at the event | (Pic: Rakesh Dhannarapu)
Rakesh, who aspires to work with the International Reciprocal Trade Association and travel to Switzerland in January 20202 for the same, is jubilant because of the response his book has been getting. The book has found its way to the Defence Library in Secunderabad and the library of his alma mater. He is also taking the book to government schools and orphanages so that youngsters can become more aware of the field of aviation and nurture a desire to pursue it. He has been to Saraswathi Vidya Mandir High School, St Peter's High School, DWAB Nalgonda School for the Blind Broucher and will also visit the school he studied in Meridian School For Boys and Girls on December 9.
Below, he answers some FAQs for us
Why are passengers asked to keep their window shades open during take-off and landing?
Passengers are the most alert while the plane takes-off and when it lands and hence, are very curious. Their curiosity could prove to be helpful in reporting anything out of the ordinary (like the engine catching fire).
Why are passengers asked to switch off their mobile phones during the flight?
Just the way we encounter noise due to electromagnetic interference when we place a mobile phone beside a radio, similarly, there have been recorded cases of distortion in aircraft communication and parameters due to such interferences. Hence, the flight mode.
Rakesh with his mother at his book launch | (Pic: Rakesh Dhannarapu)
Do aircraft dispose of human waste (sewage) mid-air?
No, they do not. Aircraft have a dedicated sewage tank to collect human waste. It is disposed of through safe means after landing.
Are there any chances of the aircraft running out of fuel?
Aircraft carry contingency and emergency fuel reserves to sustain the flight during any delays/diversions or uncalled events.
Do pilots sleep during the flight?
Yes, pilots do sleep. On long haul flights, pilots are rostered for regulated rest. They have a separate bunker within the aircraft to spread their legs and catch a power nap in between shifts.