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Home > Air Safety > Why the window shades must be opened before take-off and landing?
Why the window shades must be opened before take-off and landing?
Aviation - Air Safety
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:14

Airbus A320 Water Landing
 
Dear Captain Lim,

I have bought your book Life in The Skies and it is wonderful to read all the great information in it. Is just like gaining lots of flying experience after reading it.

However, I would like to ask you, why the windows must not be closed every time before take-off or landing?

I do understand the reasons to keep the seats in the upright position, fasten the seat belts and putting the tables back to their original place. But I am wondering how it would affect the landing and take-off phases of the flight.

Is it because of pressurisation issues or for passengers to know what happening outside the window?

Looking forward to your professional explanation

Thanks and have a nice day Captain.

Chan Tzun Hei

Hi Chan,

It is a universal requirement that the window shades be opened during take-off and landing.

It has nothing to do with pressurization but mainly for safety reasons during take-off or landing. Statistically, these are notoriously the most dangerous phases of all flights.

With the window shades opened, passengers and crew can spot dangers outside the planes well before they even open an emergency exit during an accident. So you are quite right that it allows passengers to see any dangers outside. Hazards like fire during a crash landing, water during a ditching or a running airplane engines can be dangerous if someone were to jump right into them.

This also allows the crew to make a clear command to the passengers to evacuate on the good and safe side.

Additionally, in the event of a crash, rescue and firefighting personnel can look into the cabin allowing them to locate the injured.

PS. If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here . To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim 


US Airways emergency landing Hudson River

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