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The Little-Known Airplane Feature That Could Save Your Life

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 6/13/2018 Bridget McCusker
a plane flying in the air © Akop Chodzajan/Shutterstock

If you’ve ever been in a window seat near the center of an airplane, you might have noticed a little yellow hook on the wing and wondered why it was there. In fact, here are all the hidden airplane features you never knew about. But not all of them can actually be key to helping you in an emergency.

Airplane wings are built to be as smooth and aerodynamic as possible. While this is necessary during flights, it can become quite a detriment if a plane has to make an emergency landing in the water, creating a slippery surface for passengers exiting from doors located above the wings. In a video, airline pilot and YouTuber Captain Joe explained that passengers using the inflatable escape slides, which can come out in the event of an emergency landing, must step out onto the wings to get to the slides. The hooks are used to secure “escape ropes” from the surface of the wing to the plane’s door, where passengers can hold on to them to prevent them from falling off the wing in wet and dangerous conditions. 


Related slideshow: 6 unexpected facts about flying, according to flight attendants (Provided by INSIDER)

If you don’t see the hooks on your plane, don’t worry—they’re only necessary for planes with emergency exits over the wings. Before your next flight, though, brush up on these potentially life-saving airplane safety tips, and remember these facts that will help you stay calm on your flight.

Related video: Why Windows Could Disappear From Airplanes in a Few Years (Provided by Travel + Leisure)

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