Despite the recent spate of airplane landing incidents this July, it is statistically highly unlikely that you will be involved in a plane crash.
According to data from the Aviation Safety Network the chances of being involved in a fatal air crash in the U.S are now only one in 45 million. Even better, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), more than 95 percent of the airplane passengers involved in a crash survive. That said, here are some helpful tips so you know what to do in the unlikely event of a crash landing.
1) Dress appropriately – You may be headed to Hawaii but forego the flip flops. You want to be protected by comfortable clothes that you can move in and closed toed flat heeled shoes. You also may want to keep a jacket or sweater handy during take off and landing. It could be useful for covering your airway from smoke or protecting you from fire. Think mobility, comfort and function.
2) Pay attention – Whether it is the first time you’ve flown or you 1,000 flight, make sure you pay attention to the safety instructions by the flight attendants. Familiarize yourself with the plane and its exits. Make a note how many rows away you are in each direction should you have to get out in a situation with limited visibility.
3) Read the safety card - It provides you with additional information of what to do and the safety features for the specific aircraft you are on.
4) Book a non-stop flight – Statistically speaking most crashes occur during take off and landing. Limiting your exposure to those events is always a good thing.
5) Brace yourself – Keep your safety belt fastened snugly low over your pelvis during the flight while in your seat. When instructed by flight attendants, assume the brace position appropriate for the amount of space you have. The brace position is intended to help you avoid head trauma and overall injury during impact. Remember if you are flying in a forward facing seat to place your hands palms down on the seat back in front of you and brace your head against the back of your hands with your feet flat on the floor. Make sure your feet are placed further back than your knees. Or if space permits place you head between your knees and cross your arms over your lower legs and grab your ankles. In either position make sure you support your head below the top of the seat back in front of you to offer additional overhead protection. See video of basic aircraft safety crash positions.
6) Listen – The flight attendants are trained to handle an emergency. Stay calm and follow their instructions to get out of the plane in an orderly yet expeditious fashion.
7) Be ready to act – In the event you need oxygen, make sure you help yourself first. Most adults have 15 seconds before being rendered unconscious and you would be unable to help others.
8) Don’t bring your stuff - I know you think you must bring that laptop or get your passport. In these situations, you want to get out of the plane as quickly and safely as possible. Some evacuations will require the use of both hands and regardless, the name of the game is getting off the plane alive. Don’t risk your life for stuff.
9) Get out and get away - Once you’re off the plane and on land move away from the plane to avoid injury due to a fire or an explosion. If you are in water make sure you put on your lifejacket before disembarking the plane and then inflate it outside the plane. Use a raft if available or swim as far away as possible from the plane. For either scenario it is advisable stay in the vicinity of the aircraft to enable rescue teams to find you more quickly.