On a flight, when you take off and land, you may notice that flight attendants ask passengers (especially those in exit-row seats) to raise their window shades.
But why? To see the runway? Check landing gear or the wing flaps? It’s a pretty simple reason, actually.
FAA regulations mandate that flight attendants be able to evacuate passengers in 90 seconds. If there were to be an unfortunate emergency outside the plane, flight attendants need to be able to assess quickly the situation then direct passengers to exit the aircraft in the safest manner possible.
For example, if an engine on the right side of the plane caught fire, they would direct travelers to exit only on the left side of the plane.
So next time you think of rolling your eyes when they ask you to raise the shade, know it’s for everyone’s safety.
[h/t: Business Insider]