Lately I have become a big fan of “National Geographic” documentary “Aircrash Investigation”. Actors play passengers and cabin crew members. You can see everything what happened on the plane starting from passengers till the pilot actions. It shows process of investigation, reason of crash and what actions had to be taken to survive.
As I have seen a couple of seasons at this point (16 to be exact) , I think I am kind a expert now. Well something similar like when you watch “Grey’s Anatomy ” and someone dies in front of you.
For example I know that you need flaps to take off or De-Icing when it’s cold. In my imagination, If there would be an aircrash with me on the board, I would knock out the pilot doors and save everybody on the plane.
However, If I’m not on the plane, then here is some key points of how to survive Air-crash, compiled by National Geographic :
Catastrophe research reveals that, for example, even in the most tragic accidents in the US more than half of the passengers have survived, with about a third part killed in smoke and fire. However, some would probably have survived if certain precautions had been taken.
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Modern aircraft are built to evacuate all passengers within 90 seconds. It matters because, in the case of something catching on fire, a fire can take over an entire aircraft in 90 seconds. Therefore, it is important to realize that you will have this much time to recover and evacuate.
- Wear poorly flammable clothing and comfortable shoes
- Avoid Synthetic
When traveling by airplane, synthetic (polyester, nylon, acrylic) clothing should be avoided as it melts at low temperatures and sticks to the skin. It is best to wear clothes made of cotton, wool or some special material. True, wool soaking becomes much heavier.
- Avoid high-heals
It is also desirable to avoid high-heeled shoes or sandals that interfere with free and fast movement in all conditions. You will appreciate it, for example, during turbulence if you need to move around the cabin.
Think of your own personal evacuation plan
This is the most important. If you know what are you going to do in case of disaster you have a bigger chance of getting out.
First of all, you really need to listen to the security statement and read the security card. It contains instructions on how to open a particular aircraft door, window above the wing and how to get out of the aircraft. If there is no card, you need to pinpoint where to find the nearest exits. Know where you are; count the number of rows of chairs to the front, back, right and left of your door. Useful if there is severe smoke in the cabin after an accident. If you are flying with your spouse and children, discuss who will take care of which child in the event of an accident.
Choose the safest seats
Aircraft manufacturers claim that in theory all seats are equally safe. An analysis of the “Popular Mechanics” magazine about ten years ago on disasters happened after 1971, showed that the back was relatively safer.
69% survived on back, 56% survived above the wings, and 49% survived at the front.
Researchers at the University of Greenwich, according to the stories of 2,000 people who survived the 105 crashes, concluded that those who sit no more than six rows from the emergency exit have the greatest chance of survival.
Wear a seat belt
Studies have shown that those who wear seat belts have a better chance of survival. When fastening, pull the belt as tightly as possible and use it throughout the flight while you sit and especially when you are sleeping. There will be no time to wake up and react in the event of an emergency.
Disaster research revealed a strange thing: It turns out that, in times of high stress, actions are instinctive, and we try the seat belts instinctively loosened like in a car. Aircraft belts are different, so after boarding it is worth practicing a bit to figure out how to unlock it most comfortably.
Place the bag under the front seat
If your hand luggage is placed under the front seat, this means that there is one bag less over your head, and it serves as a barrier between you and the chair legs.
In the event of a catastrophe, it will prevent your body from slipping under the chair, which is often the cause of broken legs and ankles. And that is very important because injured limbs won’t get you anywhere.
It is desirable to keep your legs straight, leaving as much free space as possible, but really put the bag under the front seat to use as a pillow or support if needed.
Pay attention when taking off and landing
Statistics show that eighty percent of crashes occur in the first three and last eight minutes of a flight. You don’t have to be paranoid, but caution is worth keeping. Do not remove shoes. For this reason, it is not advisable to drink alcohol before the flight.
Brace for Impact
There are three basic things to remember about grouping. Bend as low as possible to reduce impact force on body; protects itself from falling objects and debris, and protects legs and ankles. Anything at your fingertips – coat, jacket, blanket, pillow – will fit.
The oxygen mask must first be put on yourself
If an oxygen mask falls out, immediately apply it. Remember, you only have 15-20 seconds to put on your mask without losing consciousness. First to yourself, then to help children and other adults. There will be no benefit to the surroundings of the unconscious passenger.
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Keep calm, listen to instructions, and act fast
One of the basic principles of escape is to listen and follow crew instructions. Crew is trained to act in emergency situations. But if they don’t, don’t wait and act! True, often as a reaction to stress comes t.s. “Negative panic”, that is, people continue to sit as stunned. Despite the training, the crew can also be dizzy. If so, then it is up to you to make your own decisions. Don’t wait.
Get up from your chair, head to the nearest exit you can get out. If it’s at the back, go there. A hole in the fuselage may also be useful for escape. Help others if you can. But don’t expect someone to come and save you.
Protects your face from smoke
Often, passengers who may have survived are killed in a fire or smoke poisoned. Even a few inhaled fumes can cause loss of consciousness. If possible, put a wet hanky or anything available, such as a seat cover, in front of your mouth and nose. If water is not available, use urine. It is a matter of life and death, so there is no room for shyness.
Leave the bag and the computer on a chair
No property can be more important than saving one’s life. It doesn’t matter, you can always buy a new computer or clothes. If the crew sees that the computer is interfering with the evacuation of someone else, you will have it removed.
After leaving the aircraft, stay close to it, at a safe distance. Evaluate your situation: are there any wounds, bleeding, etc. If possible, give first aid to those around you.