Surviving a plane crash: Stay in the brace position or jump and take your chances with the freefall?
I have often wondered about the advice given to passengers to assume the brace or crouch position in the event of an air emergency. It seems to me that the brace position would be one of the worst positions to get into during an emergency landing as you would seriously increase the chances of instant death or at least breaking your back at impact.
Personally I think you would improve your chances of survival by surrounding yourself with anything soft (cushions or pillows ideally). Jumping may also be a better option if you could do so far enough away from the engine.
No, jumping out of a crashing plane would not work for a number of reasons. 1) they will not open the door for you even if you choose to jump and it isn't something you will have time to quibble over. Often crashes happen so fast there is not time to even think about leaving your seat much less hopping out of the plane.
2) if you were to get off the plane how would you know at what altitude you are jumping. Too high and you won't have to worry about landing - you will suffocate.
3) If you get off the plane, and you are at an altitude where you can breathe, you will be traveling at a speed of 120 miles per hour. A few people have survived a fall like that but they are few, falling into soft dirt and still with incredibly serious injuries.
Even jumping surrounded by soft pillows or cushions which the wind will likely tear out of your hands - the impact even if you were to land on a soft mattress would be shock enough to the body to stop your heart. No stay on board.
Personally, I would rather walk than get on a plane--lol
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