Houston plane crash: tips for staying safe in an air disaster
The dramatic event of nearly two dozen people safely evacuating the passenger plane that crashed in Houston earlier this week has drawn renewed attention to the survivability of air disasters.
Despite data from the National Transportation Safety Board indicating that the chances of being involved in a fatal plane crash remain extremely low, there are steps passengers could take to further increase their chances of survival.
Here are four tips for surviving a plane crash.
1) Sit near the exits because “every second counts” in the event of a disaster
Professor Ed Galea, a fire and evacuation expert and founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich in London – which is researching the subject – told Fox News he would try to “sit down closest to an exit. as possible, preferably within nine rows of seats in an outing ‘each time he takes the plane.
“Usually there isn’t a ‘safest’ seat on an airplane in a crash. That’s because every accident is different,” he said. “However, our research on past survivable aviation crashes suggests that you have a higher likelihood of surviving a fatal crash the closer you sit to a usable exit.”
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He added: “This is because in a plane crash, especially an accident involving a fire after the crash, every second counts, every second can literally be the difference between life and death.”
2) keep your shoes on in anticipation of an escape
A plane crash will scatter items and luggage throughout the cabin – and when it does, you won’t want to be caught wearing only your socks, Galea said.
“Keep your shoes on for take-off and landing. If you need to take your shoes off, wait until the plane has reached cruising altitude and be sure to put them back on before the plane begins descent,” he said. he continued.
“As a result of the crash, the aircraft cabin is likely to be full of debris, or worse yet, partially destroyed,” Galea continued. “You don’t want to go to the exit barefoot.”
3) Recognize that these seat belts are not exactly like the ones on your vehicle
Seat belts in airplanes have the same function as those found in motor vehicles, but the main difference is how they lock and release.
Aircraft seat belts are released by pulling a lever mechanism, while those used in vehicles are released with the push of a button. Remembering this difference during your flight could save you precious time to escape, according to Galea.
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“In an emergency situation, when your ‘flight’ mode survival instincts have kicked in and you’re operating in ‘autopilot mode’, it’s easy to waste precious seconds when you mistakenly try to press the button. seat belt lever to release the seat belt – and every second counts, “he said.
“This type of behavior has actually been reported in previous aviation accidents and has even occurred in frequent travelers,” he added, noting that “due to the use of a seatbelt hundreds of thousands of times in your life you have trained your brain to react this way.
4) Take note of your surroundings by heading to your seat
Galea says that before take off, it’s best to count the number of rows of seats yours exits – and that distance as well – in case the plane’s cabin fills up with smoke in the event of an accident.
“It can become difficult for you to see the exit even if it is open so you can walk / crawl past it,” he said. “Even if you are a frequent traveler, you are unlikely to know the number and location of exits on the plane, let alone their location relative to your seat location.”