12 tips to survive an airplane crash

Surviving a plane crashFollowing the BA Boeing 777 crash earlier this week, I found some tips on an older Condé Nast travel article about getting out alive when your plane comes down far too fast.



The article, titled The Great Escape, is definitely worth a read. Following the crash at Toronto's Pearson International Airport of Air France's flight 358 where the pilot skidded the plane into a ravine. None died, just like in the Heathrow crash, and that accident shows how even a widebody airplane crash can be survivable. The article also discusses how planes can be made safer for passengers and crew alike in case of accidents. Included were these 12 tips on surviving in the unlikely event of a plane crash.

The Survivors' Advice

  1. Always listen to the pre-flight safety briefing and study the seat-back safety card
  2. You may not be able to see in a smoke-filled cabin: Count the number of rows between you and the two nearest exits at the start of each flight
  3. The nearest exit may not be the best: If passengers are crowding one or if it is blocked by fire or inoperable, move on to the next
  4. In the event of an evacuation, leave all belongings behind
  5. Carry identification, money, and credit cards in a neck pouch or fanny pack
  6. If there's smoke, keep your head low and cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or article of clothing
  7. There's no rule about the safest place to sit on a plane; a seat next to an exit is no guarantee of a speedy evacuation, since some exits may not function after an accident
  8. Clothes made of natural fabrics, such as cotton, wool, denim, and leather, offer the best protection from fire. Synthetics can melt when exposed to high heat
  9. Wear long sleeves and pants; avoid restrictive clothing
  10. Wear low-heeled shoes, preferably made of leather or canvas, with laces or straps. Avoid sandals, which don't protect against burns, and high heels, which must be removed before evacuating via an emergency slide
  11. Jump feet-first into the center of the slide, arms folded across chest and legs together
  12. Do not wear panty hose. Friction on the slide can actually cause them to melt, resulting in leg burns

It's very good advice, especially as we're all now so used to flying that we no longer pay attention!

Do you have any tips on surviving plane crashes or simply getting out of a hairy travel situtation? Share them in the comments below.

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Related articles:

BA plane crashlands at Heathrow Airport
Airline safety info online

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We suspect that many people during a ditching would inflate their life jacket in panic inside the aircraft, thinking they would be prepared early. You must not do this for three good reasons!!!

You restrict your movement to an impossible degree and maybe prevent your escape from the aircraft.

You will most likely damage or tear the jacket and it will be unusable.

If the aircaft fills quickly with water you will float up to the cabin ceiling and drown.

When we say "DO NOT INFLATE YOUR LIFE JACKET INSIDE THE AIRCRAFT" we mean it, but we are often asked about this, many people think it will give them impact protection like an air bag. Understandable, but not right.

We have made enquirires as to if it would be possible for airbags to be fitted to seats in the future, but it seems costs would prevent it.


Liz & Julie x

Liz & Julie on 25 March, 2008



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