Waiting for take off and determined to cram the last couple of texts to people? Now instead of that if we had just relaxed and looked around, we would've seen this...

Source: luxsolar

...and wondered what the hell it does.

The merry orange windsock is often striped with white or just plain orange in appearance. It is a conical tube used to indicate the speed and direction of the wind. Often found at airports, motorways and mountainous regions, it helps people to decipher and decide on the course of action according to the wind. For pilots it is especially helpful in making safe take offs and landings, 

As indicated by this infographic which Gul Panag, a newly-turned pilot shared on Instagram, windsocks are not present for decorative purposes really.

For those who didn't know🤗 #avgeek #feelingfly #instafly #windsock

A photo posted by Gul Panag (@gulpanag) on

As per FAA standards, a 15 knot wind at the speed of 28 km/h, will make the windsock perfectly horizontal while a third knot wind at the speed of 5.6 km/h will make the windsock position itself according to the direction of the wind. 

Source: forums

Many airports use a sock at the midpoint of the runway to decide which runway to use and another present at the end of the runway to indicate to the pilot what to expect on approaching. 

In case the sock is blown off, you know it's time to get outta there.