102 votes
Accepted

Do airlines in North America make around $10 profit per customer?

TL:DR United makes about $9.50 per passenger. Detailed: United Airlines Q4 and full year 2016 performance results offer a great starting point for these calculations. We can see that United ...
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  • 2,101
84 votes
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Were the emission savings of Greta Thunberg's trip by boat outweighed by crew flights?

The Daily Mail words their claim as follows: [The yacht skipper Nikki] Henderson's flight from Britain to the US likely produced the same amount of emissions the journey hoped to save, countering Ms ...
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  • 40.3k
78 votes
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Was this Indian from British India the first to strike Berlin during World War I?

Although the person named existed and served in the Royal Flying Corps, the story itself is very likely not true. First the good news. "Dattabraya Laxuman Patwardhan" certainly existed and was ...
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  • 54.8k
75 votes

Was MH17 shot down?

Note that the URIs of the reports by the Dutch Safety Board seem to change from time to time as apparently their website gets reorganised. I'll try to keep the links in this answer up to date. Failing ...
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  • 3,349
73 votes

Does a return economy-class seat between London and San Francisco release 5.28 tonnes of CO2 equivalents?

Water vapor is indeed the most important greenhouse effect contributor.(Ref. 1) It is usually not showing up in climate change discussions because mankind basically has no way of directly affecting ...
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  • 18.9k
61 votes

Was this Jet Blue airplane snowed in?

It didn't. You are looking at a pile of snow with an airplane some distance behind it. Source: Try Modern magazine In the first photo, the photographer simply took a pic of a snow pile at an angle ...
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  • 15.8k
60 votes
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Does flying a small GA aircraft use less fuel than driving the same distance by car?

This article (in German) has done further research and calculations that all seem to add up. Their verdict is that Friedrich Merz's flight did not use less fuel than other German cabinet member. In ...
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  • 1,244
58 votes

Are 700 more planes a day expected to fly because of the Heathrow expansion?

Heathrow Airport has a "dedicated website" for the planned creation of an additional runway. From the dedicated website (emphasis added): Heathrow Today 98% capacity – Flight movements at ...
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53 votes
Accepted

Were videos of the Flydubai Flight 981 crash published before the official crash time?

When trying to ascertain why timestamps seem to disagree with each other, it is often important to start with an accurate (as possible) timeline of the events being reported on It is also helpful to ...
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  • 9,007
47 votes

Does fastening airplane seatbelts reduce the risk of death and injury?

Unlike seatbelts found in cars, a seatbelt on an airplane isn't there to save you if the plane slams front first into the ground or is hit by a missile. It's there to keep you safe in the event the ...
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  • 611
39 votes

Does Turkey make the "structural steel frame" for the F-35 fighter?

Bearing in mind subsequent changes (including the 2020 phase-out currently in the works), a 2013 press release by Northrop Grumman said: Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI), a subcontractor to ...
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  • 51.1k
31 votes

Does the TSA have a fail rate of 95% in breach tests?

Apparently yes. There was extensive news coverage of this, which eventually points back to this ABC News report from June 1st, 2015. The report references an internal government report, which is not ...
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29 votes

Does Turkey make the "structural steel frame" for the F-35 fighter?

The F-35 made by Lockheed Martin is a joint venture by multiple countries; among others, USA, Canada, Italy and Turkey. Turkey was part of the deal and they helped funding the development of the jet. ...
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28 votes

Does Turkey make the "structural steel frame" for the F-35 fighter?

According to Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) One of the most complex structural sections of the aircraft, "F-35A Center Fuselage" is produced by TAI as a second source. Second source means "a ...
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  • 99.4k
26 votes
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Has president Trump been "very strict on Commercial Aviation"?

This answer is making use of Daniel R Hicks' links in the comments of the question. The Claim Donald Trump's tweet's phrasing "Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation.&...
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  • 1,843
24 votes
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Is this a photo of the result of a kamikaze attack on a ship in WWII?

According to Pacific Wrecks, a non-profit organization devoted to sharing information about the Pacific Theater of World War II and the Korean War, it does. The image description reads as: HMS ...
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  • 29.8k
24 votes

Was MH17 shot down?

Is there any first hand evidence, accessible to the public, showing MH17 was shot down? No, nor should we expect any. As in almost all cases, the public do not have direct personal access to evidence ...
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22 votes

Was MH17's flight path rerouted?

No, it was flying its usual path, same as it was flying for months before the event. Here is the path of the same flight day before (a bit to the South): Here is the same flight on 13th of June (a ...
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  • 3,759
21 votes

Was the video about MH17 done the day before it crashed?

Timestamps are not a good source of information unless you are really sure where they come from. They are set using the system time of the computer creating the file, which might, for example, be set ...
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  • 3,564
21 votes

Does having one fewer child reduce my carbon footprint as much as 71+ people going vegan?

To come up with the emission per child, the original source Reproduction and the carbon legacies of individuals Global Environmental Change Volume 19, Issue 1, February 2009, pages 14-20, is ...
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  • 99.4k
20 votes
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Is there any evidence that laptops in airplanes might be used for terrorist attack?

Your title and body ask different questions, but in Somalia last year, a bomb disguised as a laptop was used to attack a plane: 'Sophisticated' laptop bomb on Somali plane got through X-ray machine ...
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19 votes

Do airlines have a "Do not pair" list of pilots who don't want to work with each other?

Yes, "do not pair" lists do exist. They were brought in as one of the responses to the crash of Northwest Airlink Flight 5719. The accident was basically a CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) ...
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  • 1,940
18 votes
Accepted

Did Winston Churchill praise Rolls-Royce engines?

There is no reason to doubt that Churchill explicitly mentioned Rolls-Royce in the context of the quote. A Google Books search limited to books published before 1960 returns at least four publications ...
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  • 9,114
16 votes

Are women in burqas never strip-searched by the TSA?

No, it's false. In New York, Muslim women can request private screening with a female officer (most security check points have a private room which they use for more advanced screenings). Huffington ...
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  • 15.5k
16 votes
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Were flight reservations centrally managed on wall boards in huge halls in the pre-computer era?

I found a full account of pre-computerized reservation systems on Wikipedia's Reservisor article. The account is sourced to a single book, which I cannot get due to worldwide library closures, but ...
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  • 40.3k
15 votes

Is the F-35 aircraft literally invisible?

Stealth is not invisibility. Rather, stealth gives the F-35 the ability to elude or greatly complicate an enemy’s ability to find and destroy an aircraft using a combination of design, tactics and ...
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14 votes

Can aircraft be hacked and "commandeered remotely"?

Evidence: There is an application for a search warrant documented in court by FBI that a US hacker named Chris Roberts hacked into the electronic entertainment systems of airplanes [1] and that he ...
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  • 22.6k
14 votes

Does a return economy-class seat between London and San Francisco release 5.28 tonnes of CO2 equivalents?

Values from International Civil Aviation Organization cannot be correct. Warning : very short calculation ahead. I hope it's alright for Skeptics. One way to check if the results are plausible is to ...
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