I once spent 13 hours seated next to a man who broke wind continuously across the Pacifc from La. On disembarking, a flight attendant asked him if his stomach was feeling better? I could have assured her that it wasn’t!
I was interested to read of a recent paper produced by a team of Danish and British gastroenterologists and published in the NZ Medical Journal. The lead researcher Jacob Rosenberg considered the issue worth researching after his own embarassing experience on a flight between Copenhagen and Tokyo.
The study recommends passengers and crew break wind on board as its less dangerous to personal health than “keeping it in”. Not farting they say results in discomfort and even pain, bloating, dyspepsia (indigestion)or pyrosis (heartburn).
To deal with the problem, the team considered:
Passengers wearing rubber pants with an attached air container for collecting gas
putting active charcoal in passenger seats
Encouragingbpassengers to wear charcoal-lined underwear
Conducting pre flight methane breath tests
reducing fibre in airline meals
Perhaps security checks could include ensuring passengers a wearing charcoal underwear?
For pilots, however, there are some serious safety issues. For example: if the pilot “lets go of the fart, his co-pilot may be affected by its odour, which again reduces safety onboard the flight.”
“On the one hand, if the pilot restrains a fart, all the drawbacks previously mentioned, including impaired concentration, may affect his abilities to control the plane.”
What advice would you give in a pilot training course?