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How to Survive a Plane Crash

Updated on December 6, 2011

Lots of people are scared of flying, even though it is the safest form of transport per mile, 1.5billion people fly per year and you bet the media tells you every incident that does happen, the percentage is incredibly low.

Lots of people are under the illusion that a plane crashes are almost always fatal, however that is very untrue, 95.7% of people involved in a plane crash survive and 76.6% of people in fatal plane crashes survive. So if you get that dreaded message that the plane is going to crash don't automatically assume that your going to die, there are many ways to increase your chances of survival.


Seat Position In Plane is one of the things that is often stated as way to increase survival chances, however evidence on this isn't fully conclusive. Firstly on any plane make sure you sit in the front, middle or back, not inbetween because this is where the plane is more likely to break in half on impact. If landing on water however different makes of plane, boeing planes are front heavy and airbus's are back heavy, so you want to be sitting in the opposite if you are flying long distances over water. However in general flights over land then the percentage of survivors at the back is very slightly higher then at the front.

Prepare for what your going to do, if you hear that announcement then stay calm and plan what you are going to do, be prepared that others (even cabin crew) may panic, some will start running around, some will just be stuck in their seat. Stay calm, plan what exit you are going too and just follow the steps bellow, this is the best way to increase your chances of survival. Put your life jacket on over your clothes but do not inflate as this will make exiting the plane almost impossible.


Brace Position is one of the most stressed points in the safety briefing. There is a conspiracy that these are designed to kill you (insurance payout for death is cheaper than paying for life long medical treatment), however these haven't been able to be supported by and solid evidence. It doesn't matter what brace postion you choose as long at it reduces the ability for your body to "jack knife", if you are short then you can bend right over and almost put your head on your knee's, however if your taller then lean on the seat infront. The position of you legs is also very important, you need to have them together, flat on the ground and behind your knees, this avoids them smacking into seat infront and breaking your leg, this would seriously hamper the rest of you escape from the aircraft. Before impact tighten your seatbelt as tight as it will go, every bit of slack increases the g forces on your pelvis, also make a mental note to yourself on how to undo the seat belt, since in the panic many people panic and treat it like a car seatbelt.

Shrapnel Will be flying through the air in the crash so keep your head down. Take all possibly dangerous objects off your person and make sure that anything in your bag is tied down. It is also likely that in a sever impact that the above head lockers may collapse, this is why your head needs to be covered in the brace position.

Smoke is the biggest killer in plane crashes, only a couple of breaths of it will leave you unconscious. Some would advise keeping low to the floor on the way to the exit, however this leaves you open to be trampled on. Instead wet a cloth (use urine if thats the only thing available) and put that over your face, and as you make your way to the exit keep your head down. Also on your way to the exit don't stop to collect possesions, or push other passengers out of the way, both of these could delay your exit.

Doors on the plane should be open by the time you get there, however if a cabin crew panics and forgets, and you are sat by the door you may need to do it yourself, the specific instructions are usually in your safety guide of the plane, and on the door itself. As the door inflates the slide automatically so you don't need to worry about that. However on large aircraft once the door is open it may used compressed air to blast it out of the way, you may want to let go of the door before that.

In conclusion an aircraft crash is a very unlikely occurance however if it does happen then its good to know what to do. The most important however is to not get flustered, not to rush and to think things through before acting.

Thanks For Reading



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