A funny thing happened the other day. I was walking out the door, on my way to catch a plane to Kansas City. Suddenly my wife says, –“Be careful “–. Hmm, well, I don’t know about you, but when I’m on a plane, I always leave it up to the pilot to be careful. I rarely think about the many things I can do to make my flight safer, and if necessary survive a plane crash.
To be fair, air travel is one of the most reliable ways of travel around. The odds of being killed on a single airline flight are one in 4.7 million, according to online air crash database, plane crash info. It’s also very comforting to know that figures from the US National Transportation Safety Board show that 95.7 per cent of people survive an accident on a plane. That’s almost 100%; you stand a better chance of being struck by lightning, two times on a sunny day than you do of dying in a plane wreck.
So, just how do you walk away from a plane crash?
- First things first, before I go on any trip anywhere, no matter how I am traveling, I always pray to the Lord for safe travel and traveling mercies.
- Wear well-built, enclosed, preferably leather shoes. Ladies pack your high heels away for a night out at your destination. If you have to exit the plane quickly, you don’t want to be tripping over your shoes, or worse, your shoes coming off expectantly.
- Always take a jacket, you never know when you might need the extra warmth. In the unlikely event, there is a crash, after surviving a plane crash you will need to stay warm where ever you are
- I don’t fly in shorts. I want my skin protected in case of an emergency.
- Wear cotton clothes, because synthetics will melt and stick to your skin if there’s a fire
- One more thing. If you are physically fit, you will be able to maneuver easier and get off the plane faster. One more reason to watch those calories and go to the gym.
After getting on the plane, you should do the following things.
- If you can, sit in an exit row close to the back of the plane. Passengers in the rear of the plane have higher rates of survival if there is an accident. The numbers don’t lie; economy-class is safer than first-class. If you are not in an exit row, count the headrests between you and the exit; because you will NOT be able to see in the cabin after a plane crash if it’s filled with smoke or dark outside.
- Read the safety card and pay attention to the pre-flight safety speech. Don’t assume that you know it all. Every type of plane is different, and aircraft are upgraded all the time. Make sure you know how to open the emergency exit door. Pause the movie and take the headphones off, your life could be at stake. Every second will count if you want to walk away from a plane wreck.
- If there is a water accident, Do not—Do not inflate your emergency life vest until you are completely outside of the aircraft. One of the quickest ways for survivors of a water crash to die is to inflate their life vest underwater before fully exiting the plane. The inflated life-preserver then forces them up to the ceiling, and they cannot get out of the emergency exits. If you survive the water landing or accident, you don’t want to kill yourself by inflating your life vest too soon.
- When you are in your seat, keep your seatbelt fastened. This advice brings to mind Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (AQ 243, AAH 243). Aloha Airlines Flight 243 was a scheduled Aloha Airlines flight between Hilo and Honolulu in Hawaii. On April 28, 1988, a Boeing 737-297 suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. There was one fatality, flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing, who was swept overboard from the airplane. Another 65 passengers and crew were injured. People who had their seatbelts on when the roof of the plane was ripped off didn’t get sucked out of the airplane.
If a crash is imminent do the following things to maximize your chances of survival
- Remain as calm as possible. Try to remember that the vast majority of plane crashes are survivable. Make sure you know where the exits are.
- Place your seat in its full upright position and put away any loose items that could be dangerous by tumbling through the cabin. Zip up your jacket and make sure your shoes are on and tight. Assume one of the two recommended brace positions and brace for impact.
- Exit the aircraft as quickly as possible.
The National Transportation Safety Board says that 68 percent of people who die in plane accidents perish due to post-crash fire and not because of injuries sustained in the crash itself. You must get out of the aircraft fast do not delay. If you see fire or smoke, you have less than two minutes to get safely out of the aircraft. Leave everything behind and move like your life depends on it, (because it does).
- Don’t get on the floor, to avoid smoke. You may be trampled by other passengers escaping the plane. Look through the window of the exit to see if there is fire or some other hazard outside If there is, try the exit door on the other side or proceed to another set of exits.
- Pay attention to the flight attendants’ instructions.Flight attendants are trained to know what to do in the event of a crash. If a flight attendant gives you instructions, listen and coöperate, it will increase yours and everyone else chances of walking away.
- Get at least 500 feet (152.4 m) up wind from the wreckage.If you’re stranded in a remote area, it’s usually a good idea to stay close to the aircraft and wait for rescue. But don’t stay too close to the plane. Fire or explosion can happen at any time. Also be aware of toxic fumes from the smoke. So get up wind and put some distance between you and the plane. If the crash is on the water, you usually want to swim away from the plane. But if there’s no fire, crash survivors have been known to use the plane as a temporary boat; while awaiting rescue. Watch the excellent video at the top of the page, or click here to learn more.
- Stay in one place, but keep alert.You must stay calm after a crash, but you also need to recognize when action is necessary and act swiftly. Use the first-aid available to help those in need of help.
- Check yourself for injuries such as cuts and abrasions. Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you may not realize that you’re hurt. Negative panic is a strange inability to react assertively and appropriately to the situation. For example, a person may just stay in his or her seat instead of heading toward the exit. Watch out for this in your fellow passengers or traveling companions.
- Stay put and wait for rescue. Don’t wander off looking for help, or try to find something close by. If your plane went down in a remote area, there will be people on the way quickly. You want to be there when they arrive. Just stay put.
One last thing, most air crashes occur during takeoff or landing. Be especially alert and pay attention to what is happening during these times. This is another time to take off the headphones, make sure your shoes are on and listen to any instructions from the flight crew. By the way, I had an excellent flight to and from Kansas City. Have a terrific week, God be with you until we meet again.