Airplanes make all sorts of strange and frightening sounds, and when an airliner is in flight, some of them can cause concern to tourists: from the “buzzing saw” to the “barking dog”. However, aviation experts on the pages of the Quora forum explained the nature of the sounds that cause excitement for travelers sitting in airplane seats. Most of these sounds do not portend any catastrophe.
Commercial pilot Patrick Sarnovsky advised passengers not to worry about noises, as frightening sounds are normal. “The Airbus A320 always fascinates me with strange sounds that are completely normal. The main one is a sound similar to the “buzz of a saw” at high traction. It really gets your attention, especially if you're ahead of the engines,” he explained.
The expert further explained that this “buzzing saw noise is actually caused by the tips of the fan blades moving at supersonic speeds.” “But it's more noticeable on some planes than others because of the design. You will hear it on the A320 (although not as much on the new ones), but I also hear it often on the 757,” the pilot added.
Then there is the “barking dog” sound that anyone who has traveled has heard by plane. “Basically, it is a hydraulic pump that makes a very strange sound, but works as expected,” he explained.
There is also a high-pitched whining noise that is often heard at the exit just before takeoff and then again after landing. Forum user Mark Levy, an aviation mechanical engineer, reassuringly said: “This is from an electro-hydraulic pump used to open and close cargo doors. These noises are normal, expected, and part of the design of large commercial aircraft. Worry if you hear all the engines stop making noise. If this happens, it means that the plane should land very soon. However, it is normal for engines to make a lot less noise in preparation for landing.”
According to professional aviator Michael Burton, the most annoying noise tourists are likely to hear on an airplane is either a screaming child sitting in a row in front, or a flight attendant and/or a pilot who says you will have to deviate due to the weather. He reminded readers that while “it's hard to get rid of irrational fears”, if something goes wrong, “you will know” – so there is no point in worrying.
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