Men are weirdly confident they could land a plane in an emergency. We asked them to explain

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Updated Jan 5, 2024 at 03:23 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

Alright, men have officially brought the delulu trend to another level—to the skies. Forget about the viral Roman Empire, this latest TikTok trend involves a mix of men, planes, and a dash of overconfidence that might leave you questioning the cockpit decisions of your average dude.

Renowned historian Dame Mary Beard, in her boundless wisdom, proposes that reflecting on the Roman Empire provides contemporary men with “a secure space for expressing their machismo.” After all, what spells macho more than togas and chariots? But Beard is yet to explain why men believe they could safely land a passenger aeroplane in case of an emergency.

@lyndseychachki

#greenscreen channelling the confidence of a man who believes he can land a plane with no flying experience 🙏 #delulu

♬ Monkeys Spinning Monkeys - Kevin MacLeod & Kevin The Monkey

The question on everyone’s mind? “Do you think you could land a plane in an emergency?” And surprise, surprise—the resounding answer is a stupidly confident “yes.”

According to a YouGov study, one in three Americans believe they could pull off a Top Gun-level landing. Among men, that number skyrockets to 46 per cent. All that being said, a seasoned pilot revealed that an untrained passenger in the cockpit would likely result in a “semi-controlled crash.” Yep, we should have seen that one coming.

To put the theory to the test, we asked a diverse group of men from the SCREENSHOT team to answer the million-dollar question. Heads up, it was a mixed bag.

I first spoke to Josh, 22, video editor who said: “I’ve thought about this many times before. I am very confident in my ability to land an aeroplane. Honestly, all I need to know is what is the landing gear switch and I’ll bring it down smoothly.”

Then came Emmanuel, 24, also a video editor, who candidly shared: “Nope. No survivors… But I think it would depend on how far from the ground we were. If it wasn’t complicated and I had enough time to get used to the weighting and control then it’s possible but realistically, if that were to happen, I’m failing miserably. Pilots need 1,500 hours of flight experience for a reason.”

Med, a 30-year-old original content executive, expressed his perspective on the hypothetical situation: “If I were put in that situation I’d say that there is a 37 per cent chance that the plane won’t crash, 23 per cent if it’s an easyJet plane.”

Last but certainly not least, I turned to Alin, a 25-year-old video editor, who expressed confidence in his response: “I have experience playing a plane simulator from my childhood, and I believe I’ve developed muscle memory. With careful thought and precision, I feel confident in safely landing a plane, taking into account the specific characteristics of the aircraft model.”

Taken aback by these responses? Well, for all those daring souls out there who genuinely believe they can effortlessly land a massive commercial jet, let me jog your memory a bit.

As you might have guessed (that is, if you identify as female or non-binary), landing a plane is way more complicated than it sounds. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in its quest to elevate safety standards for airline pilots, introduced a rule that sternly declares both first officers and captains must possess the prestigious Air Transport Pilot Certificate (ATP). This coveted certification demands a total of 1,500 hours of pilot experience, with a specific 250 hours reserved for donning the title of Pilot in Command.

As if that wasn’t enough, pilots are then obliged to acquire an aircraft type rating, involving a specialised training regimen tailored to the specific aeroplane they aspire to navigate. In other words, it’s not your run-of-the-mill joyride, folks.

So, before you entertain the fantasy of being a daring solo pilot in the cockpit, let’s not forget that autopilot might be the unsung hero. Consider what we’ve just laid out because, let’s face it, for many of us, the most interaction we’ve had with autopilot is accidentally activating Siri on our phones.

Keep On Reading

By Bianca Borissova

#NotAllMen play a part in it but #AllWomen are affected. Here’s why all men need to get involved

By Charlie Sawyer

From toxic masculinity to age-old ideals, rom-coms don’t make the cut for gen Z women anymore

By Alma Fabiani

TikTok trend has women telling men no one knew Travis Kelce before he dated Taylor Swift

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

What does the US Supreme Court’s decision to abolish mass protests in three states mean for democracy?

By Jack Ramage

The age of loud quitting and why everyone’s filming themselves getting fired or resigning on TikTok

By Charlie Sawyer

From being besties with Eminem to birthing the royal baby, here’s things you didn’t know about Trisha Paytas

By Abby Amoakuh

As cities wage a war on wee, the UK public toilet crisis intensifies

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Man who attacked Las Vegas judge in viral video charged with her attempted murder

By Charlie Sawyer

How did YouTuber Tana Mongeau become so rich? Stalker stories and messy relationships

By Charlie Sawyer

Miley Cyrus fans convinced that her bodyguard was hiding something shocking at Grammys 2024

By Abby Amoakuh

Sasha Pieterse of Pretty Little Liars discusses being sexualised in the role at age 12

By Charlie Sawyer

Netizens are revisiting P Diddy and Kim Porter’s relationship following the disturbing Cassie hotel video

By Abby Amoakuh

Griselda Blanco’s son Michael reveals new Netflix series is inaccurate and files lawsuit

By Abby Amoakuh

Celebrity podcaster Bobbi Althoff comes forward as deepfake porn video of her goes viral

By Fatou Ferraro Mboup

Lingerie brand Honey Birdette under fire for incredibly tone-deaf campaign tied to Israel-Gaza war

By Abby Amoakuh

Where is Melania Trump? Is the former First Lady hatching an escape plan?

By Charlie Sawyer

Girl who charges $70 to test people’s boyfriends’ loyalty reveals 90% usually fail

By Abby Amoakuh

Why did Jennifer Coolidge shout out evil gays in her Emmys 2024 acceptance speech?

By Charlie Sawyer

What are ZYN pouches? Tucker Carlson’s go-to nicotine pillows that are fuelling right-wing Gen Z men

By Charlie Sawyer

Belle Delphine reveals how much money she makes on OnlyFans in new Louis Theroux podcast