10. 05. 2006
How to survive a crash landing
The BBC is running a story saying that even when planes have had to make dangerous landings, the majority of passengers have survived, and provides tips on just what to do if your plane is one that has trouble. According to the article, there were 51,207 survivors out of 568 US plane crashes involving 53,487, and the survivors have attributed their survival to a few common factors.
Like most dangerous situations there are ways to lessen your risks. There's sound advice in the position of putting your head down and hugging your knees. The tight packed body position gives a lower center of gravity and will keep the force of the crash from throwing the passenger forward. AmSafe Aviation is selling seatbelts with airbags to lessen the danger of injury from the initial "crash landing" impact, and it seems to work.
Another big aspect of survival is getting off of the airplane quickly once past the crash landing. Airplanes are made with lightweight plastics and foam that emit toxic fumes when set on fire so exiting the cabin is a priority. Familiarize yourself with the fancy latches on airline seatbelts so they won't slow you up, and memorize the locations of all the emergency exits. Count the rows from your seat to the exits when boarding just in case you need to find your way in the smoky darkness.