Why we have to open window shades during take off and landing

Take off and landing are considered to be critical times in aviation when most accidents happen


News Desk February 09, 2016
PHOTO: REUTERS

It might not seem like a very important procedure, but raising our window shade for landing and take off is actually is a crucial safety precaution. Take off and landing are considered to be critical times in aviation when most accidents happen.

"The window shade opening is a part of a long process to prepare the cabin for sudden (unexpected) emergencies", an Aviation Safety Officer, Saran Udayakumar, explains in Quora.

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It is the duty of flight attendants to prepare the aircraft for any contingencies. The cabin crew have only 90 seconds to evacuate all passengers in case of emergencies and the process of evacuation itself should not take more than 90 seconds, regardless of the size of the aircraft or the number of passengers.

Opening window shades makes this 90 second evacuation possible.

A former cabin crew, informs Emirates 24|7, "Raising window shades and adjusting cabin lights ensures that passengers' eyes are well-adjusted to the light outside."

“This means that if something goes wrong and people need to be evacuated quickly there will not be a sudden change in light contrast, which might lead to temporary blurred vision”, the credible team at Q&A site travel.stackexchange.com, points out.

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“It's the same thing on night flights: window shades are open and cabin lights are dimmed as it helps ground emergency personnel outside to see what's happening on the inside of the cabin if something goes wrong”, it adds.

According to them, it can also help passengers detect and report any untoward incidents right away. Looking outside the window can also help the crew see outside conditions and plan an evacuation accordingly, in case of an emergency.

Moreover, raising window shades also gives rescue personnel better visibility inside the craft.

In case of an emergency, cabin crew need to decide which side of the aircraft is safest to disembark from. Leaving the window shade up allows them to make a quick call.

This article originally appeared on Emirates 24/7.

COMMENTS (6)

Prada | 5 years ago | Reply I will be scared the next time they open the windows shades.
John B | 5 years ago | Reply @Adnan: Passengers are asked to bend forward and hold the neck so that there won't be any injury due to impact caused whiplash of the neck. It has nothing to do with preserving dental records. Injury by free flying unsecured objects is most common in emergency landing. Most of the emergency procedures on aircraft were simulated and tested through research and through investigation of accidents. The rear facing seats are the safest but passengers had difficulty in orienting themselves towards the exit after emergency landing and hence rear facing seats were abandoned. All takes offs and landing are visually monitored from the tower. Pilot car routinely checks run ways for debries (usually tire bits); aircrafts land with enough thrust for immediate take off if needed and so on. Thus air travel has become the safest. Yet, accidents happen mainly due to human error ! The rules and procedures of FAA, simple yet most effective came out of pilots and aviation pioneers and enthusiasts. The amount of aircrafts in the US skies that safely land and take off like a clock work , barring the weather, is difficult to comprehend. All the simple FAA rules made the flying cheaper than any other means of transport today and some people do weekly commute to work by taking flight. Air travel can even be cheaper if only there is no terrorist threats as in ground transportation.
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