Reader's Digest Asia Pacific - - Travel -

Ever been into a cock­pit? There was a time when chil­dren and en­thu­si­asts were in­vited to get a glimpse of what it was like in the busi­ness end of the aero­plane.

Still, much of it re­mained a mys­tery. So what do all those but­tons do?

Ac­cord­ing to the book How to Land A Plane, writ­ten by Mark Van­hoe­nacker, a huge ef­fort goes into mak­ing it all very sim­ple.

In a piece pub­lished by tele­graph.co.uk, he says the Ex­ter­nal Power Con­trol switch usu­ally gets the most at­ten­tion. It’s the but­ton that keeps the air­craft pow­ered while it is parked.

“You may hear a click or no­tice a brief flicker of the lights just be­fore de­par­ture. That’s the pi­lots turn­ing on the APU (Aux­il­iary Power Unit) and de­s­e­lect­ing the ex­ter­nal power – an aus­pi­cious sig­nal that your jet is at last un­plugged from the world, and your jour­ney is about to be­gin.”

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