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Five things on aircraft you never knew

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Aircraft carry all kinds of apparatus and tools that passengers rarely get to see, or even suspect might be on board. Here are five. 

Handcuffs

“Passenger restraint” is the polite term used to describe handcuffs, and yes, you can bet they’re on board.  Crew will bring them out to restore order if a passenger looks like getting out of hand and threatens violence to another passenger or crew.

Sky marshals

Aircraft carry sky marshals who are like a kind of internal security officers on board the aircraft. They carry sidearms,  but note that they will not assist cabin crew to subdue a drunk or unruly passenger for example – that’s too common, they are instead trained to act as undercover agents and they only spring into action if the flight is at the risk of being hijacked or attacked by terrorists on board. 

Video surveillance cameras

Aircraft are now installed with video surveillance cameras in their cabins and this came in the wake of the September 11 hijackings of US carriers. Cameras are positioned to enable pilots monitor the entire cabin; some are visible, others are virtually impossible to locate.

Axe

Aircraft are required to carry a crash axe, intended to enable crew to rip through panels and sidewalls to fight an electrical fire.

 Supplemental oxygen

Most aircraft have an oxygen cylinder for the use of passengers who might have difficulty breathing. This is in addition to the drop-down oxygen masks that are activated should cabin pressure drop.

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