Surviving a Plane Crash

“152 Dead in Crash, and One Story of Survival” 

The headline alone made me picture the miracle.  An incredible story indeed, a 14-year-old girl traveling with her mother is the lone survivor in the second catastrophic air incident in a month.  Air disasters do not happen often, but their impact in terms of lost lives and the perception of safety among airline passengers is severe.  I wanted to focus on the likelihood of surviving an airplane crash.

On June 1st 2009; Air France flight 447 was on a scheduled international flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France. The aircraft crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in an area roughly 390 miles (650 kilometers) northeast of Brazil’s Fernando de Noronha islands, which are about 220 miles (354 kilometers) off the northeast coast of Brazil.  There were no survivors of this technological tragedy.

On June 30th 2009; Yemenia Airlines Flight 626; on a flight from Sana’a, Yemen to Moroni, Comoros Islands with 142 passengers and 11 crew on board crashed in the sea near the town of Mitsamiouli, which is on the main island of Grande Comore.  One survivor, reportedly a fourteen-year-old girl named Baya Bakari, has been found so far, and search and rescue operations continue.

I realized this is a sensitive matter that may cause or bring up the fear of flying; however, there are many ways to conquer this fear.  We all can adopt sensible measures to ensure safety while flying.  Below you’ll find useful information and tips on how to do just that.

I want to bring to your attention to this interactive feature from CNN Travel called “How to survive a plane crash”, which covers the issue fairly well.  Among the highlights you’ll find that:

  • People tend to think airplane crashes are fatal events, contrary to statistics
  • The industry-wide accident rate is just one accident per 1.2 million flights
  • The jury’s out on what is the safest seat; there’s a chance it doesn’t exist
  • Don’t inflate your life jacket on board and when the time comes, jump

There are contrarian views on which seats are the safest in terms of crash survival.  As you read in the aforementioned article “In 2007, Popular Mechanics magazine analyzed data for crashes since 1971 and found that more passengers near the tail of a plane survived crashes than those in the first few rows up front.”  Other experts explain that seating arrangements is irrelevant; it’s a matter of how the plane goes down or if it breaks up in mid-air. The safest bet is to follow instructions and be ready to act when it is called for.

Next time you think of the question “How Do People Survive Airline Crashes?” check out this blog and get yourself beyond fear by reading the latest on travel safety from Security Beyond Borders.


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