10 Plane Crash Survival Tips

Date August 15, 2018

Many people think that a plane crash rarely leaves survivors. It is backed up by movies and news, showing a plane falling from a huge altitude. However, 40% of deaths in plane crashes are caused by passengers making wrong decisions in the extreme situation. These 40% have a chance to survive if they know what to do. So, here is what you need to know in order to get out of a crashed plane alive.

1. You have only 90 seconds to get out

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It is vital to remember. If you survived a crash, you have a chance of getting out of the plane only within 90 seconds. After this time, the fire will spread across the cabin. The flames will engulf the entire body of the plane, so that nobody can exit.

2. Keep fit

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Studies on plane crash survivors and on simulations have shown that fit young males have the most chances to survive a plane crash, elderly ladies with excess weight – quite the opposite.

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3. If possible, fly on big planes

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If you can choose between flying on a biplane or Boeing-737, go for the latter. Big planes absorb more energy upon the contact with the surface, which makes the impact less deadly and your survival chances higher.

4. Remember the rule of 5 rows

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When most aircraft crash, the first part to sustain damage is the front compartment, so theoretically, it will be safer in the back. But sometimes, it is the tail or a wing, so you can never be sure which place will be safer. All you need to know is - your place should be within five rows of the emergency exit. After the 5th row the chances of you getting out of a crashed plane decrease with each additional one.

READ ALSO: Woman Died After The Broken Plane Window Nearly Sucked Her Out

5. Fight a thought that everything is fine and act

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Most of survivors behave as if nothing happened. People continue to sit in the armchairs believing that everything is over, and there is no reason to worry anymore, start to look for their luggage - in a word, continue to live a normal life. It is necessary to fight this state and immediately get out of the plane. It may become helpful if before each takeoff you examine the location of the emergency exits, count the rows between you and the nearest exit, and inspect the passengers and possible obstacles on the way to the exit in case it will be dark. If you travel with your family, in advance, decide which spouse is responsible for which child. And, finally, play the emergency escape in your head.

6. Read the safety instructions on board and listen to the personnel carefully

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Always read the passengers' brief on the emergency behavior rules (it is usually in the pocket of the chair in front) and listen carefully to the instructions of flight attendants, who demonstrate the rules of using life-saving tools on board. EVEN if you are flying for the hundred and fifth time, and you’ve heard it every single time. Studies have shown that the frequent travelers are least prepared to act in an emergency situation because of their excessive confidence.

7. Remember the rule “plus 3 / minus 8”

“Plus 3 / minus 8” is about first three minutes of a take-off and last 8 minutes of landing. According to studies on plane crashes, almost 80% of all accidents take place in this time, while the rest of the flight is generally safer. So, concentrate during the first 3 minutes and last 8 minutes. No reason to get paranoid, just stay alert and watch out:

  • don't fall asleep at this time;
  • keep the shoes on and tightly laced / zipped (don’t wear heels on the flight);
  • don’t drink alcohol before boarding the plane (and during the flight);
  • make sure to fasten the belt - low and fast;
  • play your actions in the worst case scenario in your head.

8. Put on the oxygen mask immediately as it drops down

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The plane is sealed, so you can easily breathe inside while cruising at an altitude of 6 miles. However, outside, the oxygen concentration is so low that in case the cabin gets depressurized for a few seconds, a person can go insane. So, put on the mask as soon as it drops down. Oxygen will flow to the mouth and nose, and you will be able to breathe normally. Remember that first you need to put the mask on yourself and then help others with it. Without oxygen supply to the brain, you will be absolutely useless.

READ ALSO: Blood Clots And Flying: 5 Tips For Safe Travel With Deep Vein Thrombosis

9. Assume a safe body position

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Safe body positions in case of emergency landing are indicated in the safety leaflet. No matter how stupid they may seem, they really increase the odds of surviving an emergency landing. They help cushion the head impact against the front seat by reducing the speed of its movement and to minimize the chances of injuring the limbs. Also, make sure your seat belts are securely fastened. They can withstand a load of almost 3,300 pounds – you can trust them.

10. Forget about hand luggage, think about children

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Imagine that the plane crashes and makes an emergency landing. You survived. What do you have to do? Run to the nearest emergency exit, because you only have 90 seconds. Forget about the hand luggage and the luggage in the overhead bins. You will only waste precious time and block the life-saving path for the rest. Also, you can injure someone with your suitcases if you go down the emergency escape slide. You will get new things when you get home safe. If you run headlong from an airplane, don’t forget about your spouse and children. It happens. In emergency situations, our brain shuts down everything, except for the primal instinct of survival, so keep repeating to yourself: “I'm with children, I have children” (if you do). Ideally, you need to drill an emergency plan with your spouse and children, so that everybody knows who takes whom to the emergency exit. Remember one more thing: don’t count on the crew and flight attendants in the case of an emergency, be ready to take action on your own. Of course, let's hope that we will all be safe and nothing will ever happen to any of us. Still, forewarned is forearmed.

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Plane Crash Tips