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The dramatic occasion of practically two dozen individuals safely evacuating the passenger aircraft that crashed in Houston earlier this week has introduced renewed consideration to the survivability of air disasters.
Despite information from the National Transportation Safety Board indicating that the chances of turning into concerned in a lethal aircraft crash stay overwhelmingly low, there are actions that passengers may take to additional enhance their probabilities of survival.
Here are 4 tips on the right way to survive a aircraft crash.
1) Sit near the exits as ‘every second counts’ within the occasion of a disaster
Professor Ed Galea, a fireplace and evacuation skilled and founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group on the University of Greenwich in London – which conducts analysis on the subject – informed Fox News he’ll attempt to “get a seat as close to an exit as possible, preferably within nine seat rows of an exit” at any time when he flies.
“Generally, there is no ‘safest’ seat on an aircraft during a crash. This is because each accident is different,” he mentioned. “However, our research of past survivable aviation crashes suggests that you have a higher probability of surviving a fatal crash the closer you are seated to a serviceable exit.”
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He added, “This is because in an aviation crash, especially one involving a post-crash fire, every second counts, each second can literally make the difference between life and death.”
2) Keep your sneakers on in preparation for an escape
A aircraft crash will scatter objects and baggage everywhere in the cabin – and when that occurs, you don’t wish to be caught sporting solely your socks, Galea mentioned.
“Keep your shoes on for takeoff and landing. If you have to take off your shoes, wait until the aircraft has reached cruising altitude and make sure you put them back on before the aircraft starts the descent,” he went on.
“As a result of the crash, the aircraft cabin is likely to be full of debris, or even worse partially broken up,” Galea continued. “You don’t want to be making your way to the exit in bare feet.”
3) Recognize these seat belts aren’t precisely like those in your car
Seat belts on planes serve the identical goal as these present in motor automobiles, however a key distinction is the way in which wherein they lock and launch.
Plane seat belts launch by pulling on a lever mechanism, whereas those utilized in automobiles launch with the press of a button. Remembering that distinction throughout your flight may purchase worthwhile time to flee, in keeping with Galea.
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“In an emergency situation, when your survival ‘flight’ mode instincts have kicked in and you are operating in ‘autopilot mode’ it is easy to lose precious seconds as you erroneously try to press the seat belt lever to release the seat belt – and every second counts,” he mentioned.
“This type of behavior has actually been reported in previous aviation accidents and has even occurred to frequent flyers,” he added, noting that “due to operating a car seat belt hundreds of thousands of times in your life, you have trained your brain to react in this way.”
4) Take notice of your environment whereas heading to your seat
Galea says earlier than takeoff, it is best to depend the variety of seat rows from yours to the exit — and that distance as effectively — in case the aircraft cabin fills up with smoke within the occasion of a crash.
“It may become difficult for you to see the exit, even if it is open, so you could walk/crawl past it,” he mentioned. “Even if you are a frequent flyer, it is unlikely you will know the number and location of exits on the aircraft, let alone their location relative to your seating location.”