You may have noticed that pilots love a bit of light dimming when it comes to take-off and landing times, and it turns out there’s a pretty good reason why they force you to use your overhead light for a few minutes.

Unsurprisingly, it’s for our safety – and to give us a fighting chance if the plane happens to go down during those crucial moments.

Chris Cooke, a pilot for an unnamed airline, opened up to The Daily Mail about the seemingly innocuous measure, revealing that it helps passengers’ eyes adjust to the dark a little quicker.

Science dictates that it takes about 10 minutes for the human eye to get used to darkness; if an emergency evacuation is necessary just after the plane has taken off or just before landing, our eyes should have been given a headstart to adjust.

“Imagine being in an unfamiliar bright room filled with obstacles when someone turns off the lights and asks you to exit quickly,” Cooke explained.

The emergency strip-lighting is a lot clearer then, too, which helps us with a “basic sense of orientation”.

Cooke also pointed out that there’s a similar reasoning behind asking us to open up the blinds; if the lights suddenly cut out, the natural light coming in through the windows can make a world of difference.


The more you know, huh?

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