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Irksome high pitched shriek on Air Asia flight

Adelaide, Australia
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Irksome high pitched shriek on Air Asia flight

My last flight from Kuala Lumpur to Adelaide, I was at the very back the plane. There a couple of curious things going on.

First up, they didn't switch the air con for ages. There must have been some ambient heat in the plane from the climate at the airport, and when 300 passengers boarded, it didn't help matters. About every fourth person on the plane was fanning themselves with one of the info cards in the seat pouch for about all the way through taxiiing and take off, but the staff didn't seem to notice, and didn't put on the air con until long after I (and, no doubt, a few other people) complained.

But the more disturbing thing was the constant high pitched squealing noise coming from the door at the back left. It was like tinnitus, only much louder. It sounded like the death complaints of an electric motor that's been cranked far too high.

I asked a flight attendant what it was, and her only reply was: "Would you like to be moved to a new seat?"

Given this didn't answer my question, I asked it again, and was given same non-answer.

This time I said yes. I figured if the plane was going to crash because of an explosive decompression, as a result of a door failing, I may as well die in comfort. I was also worried that the high pitched shriek might actually damage my hearing, if I was subjected to it for too long.

The good news is that there was no explosive decompression, the plane didn't crash, I'm still alive and my hearing is still good. And, when I changed seats, not only did I get away from the noise, but I got an entire middle row to myself. I was actually able to lie down on my side and get some sleep on the overnight flight, which was unheard of.

Still very puzzled about what that noise from the door was though.

Wirral, United...
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11. Re: Irksome high pitched shriek on Air Asia flight

>>..... I know the back is the safest place to be on board, because there hasn't been a single instance of an aircraft reversing into a mountain..... Yet!

Mondial, my Mum says the exact same thing!

It would have been annoying to have such a high pitched noise on the flight, but if the cabin crew weren't worried then I usually don't worry.

On the plus side, at least SlapperD got a nice middle row to lie down and sleep, I'd say that was a result! ;)

Phoenix, Arizona
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12. Re: Irksome high pitched shriek on Air Asia flight


What was the airship? Some planes are more noisy, than others, and most have a unique set of noises. I find the Airbus A-319 and A-320 to have some of the stranger ones - but those are normal to the plane. The CRJ-200 & 700 models also have some rather odd noises. In the cases of those planes, we fly them enough to know what's normal, and what is no, but a pax, new to any of those, might be put off.

Also, the total state of repair of a plane can contribute to noises. We were on Boeing 737 recently, and the lower panel (with lights and air vents) was ever so slightly loose (maybe one screw, or clip?), and it set up a high-pitched squeal - thin metal against thin metal. We wedged a bit of paper in the little gap, and it was silenced. I was only slightly aware of the noise, but my poor wife (her hearing is so much better, and especially at the higher frequencies) was going bonkers.

Usually, the only "high-pitched shriek" that I hear, comes from the cockpit, when alarms start going off. I think that is the co-pilot, but cannot be sure.

As to the AC, I completely understand. We fly out of some hot, and often humid airports, and enter some very warm planes (especially with the deplaning pax do not lower the shades). At the terminal, most jets need to be hooked to an AC unit, and the one in the craft usually does not start, until shortly after takeoff. If one is departing, say Phoenix in the Summer, those few minutes can seem a lifetime.

I have also encountered more hot planes (even when the AC is turned on in-flight), than cold ones. Only time that I can recall needing to put on more clothing, or grab a blanket was about half-way through a 15 hr. flight from SFO to SYD on a 742 in GFC. Now, I did have my two vents open to cool things down a bit early on, but later, even with them closed, I rummaged around for the blanket (something that I usually send to pax in the back of the plane, 'cause I never use them - but did on that flight).

Now, don't get me started on how hot I find most airports!


13. Re: Irksome high pitched shriek on Air Asia flight

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