Airplane!

Tom Bunn, an airline captain and licensed therapist who answered a series of illuminating questions about air travel on Supercompressor, points out a key fact early in his interview. “We don’t have planes crashing in the U.S.” he says. “We’ve gone 14 years without a fatality on a major U.S. airline.”

That should be reassuring, but we all know it isn’t. We still hold our breath on takeoffs, landings, and any time turbulence causes the plane to shake. Most of us don’t even know what the heck turbulence is, but it still scares us to death. Many flat-out refuse to fly, unable to give up control for a few hours in what is statistically an extremely safe way to travel.

Still, Bunn addresses all sorts of flying-related questions, from the informative to the absurd. Which airport is the scariest in which to land? That would be Gibraltar International Airport, which has a major road crossing the runway. What happens if snakes get on a plane? This actually happened, apparently, with the flight crew having to smack down snakes crawling through the air ducts.

You can check out the rest of the Q&A here.