While flying, as passengers wait to board their flight, they may notice planes being sprayed with water-like liquid before takeoff.
While the process might seem unnecessary, it plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and efficient air travel.
In this article, WoK highlights the reasons behind why planes are sprayed before takeoff.
The process is called spraying or fogging, and it is a common pre-flight procedure that serves a crucial purpose.
The liquid being sprayed is a type of de-icing fluid, which is designed to remove any frost, ice or snow that may have accumulated on the aircraft’s surface.
When an airplane sits on the ground for a long time, especially in cold or wet conditions, ice can build up on its wings and tail.
This ice can affect the aerodynamics of the aircraft, making it more difficult to fly and increasing the risk of an accident.
De-icing fluid is usually a mixture of water which is usually heated and ethylene glycol, a colorless type of alcohol.
In this case, the glycol lowers the freezing point of the water, preventing it from freezing at low temperatures.
It also helps to break down any ice that may have formed on the aircraft’s surface, making it easier to remove.
The de-icing process usually takes place just before takeoff, so that the aircraft is as clean as possible before it starts to fly.
Once the de-icing fluid has been sprayed, it is allowed to sit on the aircraft’s surface for a few minutes to do its job.
While de-icing fluid is generally safe for the environment and human health, it is still important to use it responsibly.
Airlines and airports must follow strict guidelines to ensure that the fluid is properly disposed of and does not contaminate the surrounding area.
In addition to de-icing, some aircraft are also sprayed with insecticides before takeoff.
This is done to prevent the spread of diseases that may be carried by insects, such as malaria or dengue fever.
Insecticide spraying is typically only used on flights to certain parts of the world where insect-borne diseases are common.
De-icing fluid and insecticides are two common types of sprays used during this process, and they play a vital role in ensuring safe and efficient air travel.