Tips and Warnings on Surviving a Plane Crash
Category : Air Crash
Tips and Warnings on Surviving a Plane Crash
By Ofonime Essien
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Despite a spate of deadly airplane crashes in the past year, including an Airbus plane operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget line that crashed in Southern France, the odds of surviving a plane crash are actually quite high.
Above, a Germanwings Airbus A320 registration D-AIPX at the Berlin airport in a March 29, 2014 file photo. Reuters/Jan Seba
The tragic crash of a Germanwings commercial flight in the south of France Tuesday that killed all 150 people on board was the latest in a spate of deadly plane crashes in the past year. Commercial airplanes have been downed over Ukraine, disappeared in the Indian Ocean and crashed in a river in Taiwan in recent months with no survivors because of the horrific nature of the incidents.
But while the recent spate of high-profile crashes have been particularly deadly, the National Transportation Safety Board estimates that 95 percent of all passengers in plane crashes from 1983 to 2000 survived. Luck and circumstances surely play a role, but it’s also always helpful to know what to do in such a situation. Below are seven tips to increase your chances of making it in a plane crash. Bear in mind that every situation is different, and there will always be factors out of your control, such as weather or the skill of the pilot flying the plane.
- If you can find a pillow or something similarly soft to protect your head during impact, use it.
- In the event of a water landing, remove your shoes and excess clothes before or immediately after entering the water. This will make swimming and floating easier.
- If you have a cell phone handy, call the Emergency Services of the country you are in for help.
- It’s quite common for people to forget how to unbuckle their seat belts after a crash. It seems easy enough, but in your dazed condition the first instinct is often to try to push a button as you would for a car seat belt. When that doesn’t work, it’s easy to panic. Before impact, make a mental note to remember how to quickly and easily unbuckle your seat belt.
- Place your baggage beneath the seat in front of you. It can help prevent your legs from snapping under the seat.
- Remove sharp objects—pens, pencils, etc.—from your pockets before a crash. Better yet, don’t carry them at all. Nearly any loose object on a plane can become a deadly projectile in the event of a crash.
- Remain in the brace position until the plane comes to a complete stop, a secondary impact or bounce will often follow the initial impact.
- The one exception to the “leave everything behind” rule may be a jacket or blanket, and you should only consider carrying that if you have it ready to go at impact. While having appropriate clothing may save your life if you’re stranded for a while, you first have to get out of the aircraft safely.
- If you have no time to prepare for the crash and you forget some of these instructions, you can find much of the most important information in the safety card in the seat back pocket in front of you.
- Listen to the instructions and don’t over think anything, this could risk your life. Do as the hostess says, and only get up when it is safe and you are told to.
- Save yourself before others!
- Stay calm.
- If you have nothing to moisten a cloth with (in order to protect yourself from smoke inhalation), you can use urine. This sort of breach of decorum is perfectly acceptable in such a situation.
- Don’t push other passengers. An orderly exit increases everybody’s chance of survival, and if you panic and start shoving, you may be faced with retaliation.
- Don’t get down on the floor of the plane. If there is smoke in the cabin, try to stay low, but do not crawl. You will likely be trampled or injured by other passengers attempting to escape in the low-visibility conditions.
- Avoid excessive alcohol consumption before or during a flight. Alcohol impairs your ability to quickly and methodically react to the crash and evacuate the plane.
- When landing in water, do not inflate your life vest until you are outside of the aircraft. If you do, you run the risk of becoming trapped when the aircraft fills with water.
- Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics while traveling by plane. If a fire breaks out in the cabin, these materials will melt to your skin.
- Never hold your infant or toddler on your lap. While it may be cheaper than buying a seat, your child is almost guaranteed not to survive if you are holding him or her. Get a seat for your child and use an approved child restraint system.