A lot of people are very afraid of flying because they think the plane will suffer from a fatal crash. But in reality, the odds of dying due to a plane crash is 1 in 11 million. See this figure? So, what if you were involved in a plane crash?
Plane Crash Trivia
Like other what-if topics, we need to talk about the topic itself first.
Congratulations! If you choose an airliner like a Boeing 737 to fly, your crashing possibilities are much lower. This is because of the more rigorous training of commercial pilots requiring at least 1,500 flight hours of experience. Also, the safety procedures and systems are far better than that of small aircraft. Thus, the idea that commercial airplanes are less safe is far from being true. There are a few crashes of general aviation airframes every day! Surprisingly, 97% of all fatalities about flying are from small private planes.
Although small planes hit the ground more smoothly because they are moving slower, that doesn’t guarantee there’s no chance to survive an airliner crash. What’s worse, general aviation planes might actually hit harder than airliners because they can be damaged so easily. What’s better, however, plane accidents have a survival rate of 95%, even more than half in an actual crash. And remember, you have approximately one in 5.5 million chance of being in a plane crash, so it is not generally a threat.
So, what if you were involved in a plane crash?
One day, you chose a flight and thought it is an ideal one. Then, you boarded the plane, and the plane took off. Unfortunately, there’s a flock of birds in the vicinity of the airplane and struck its left engine shortly after rotation! When the pilots shut down the engine, another group of birds entered the remaining engine! The pilots had no choice but to land the aircraft ASAP. They sent out a mayday call and told that the plane might crash. You were panicking and didn’t know what to do.
This is a normal action because of the sudden fear, but it’s not secure. Your safest option is the follow experienced flight attendants and pilots. Do you look at the flight safety card and listen to the safety procedure even if you’re a frequent flyer? If so, you have a much better chance of surviving a plane crash. You would hear the passengers screaming, but put them out of your mind. Your priority at that moment is to prepare for the potential crash.
You would need to focus on the flight attendants’ commands and look for ones such as “Brace for Impact”, or “Put on Your Life Jacket”. If so, it’s best to remember the checklist in advance because you have no time to read. If not, do them by yourself if mandatory.
Then, the plane was rapidly descending, and you would feel the odds of suffering from a crash becomes higher with every passing second. Some people panicked, whilst some braced for impact.
The pilots lowered the landing gear and flaps, and finally…… Landing! You could see your plane landing miraculously safe and sound, and you celebrated your survival! Hopefully, you didn’t, because there’s one thing you must do after the landing.
After an airplane accident, you’ll most likely need to evacuate. You can get ready by choosing long-sleeved clothes made of natural materials in order to get the best protection. Leave your properties behind…… It could be retrieved if you’re fortunate, but your life can’t. If you evacuate with your stuff, you’ll take more time to get out, and affect other passengers. After all, you have only 90 seconds to evacuate because this is the time that fire can spread through the entire plane! But don’t worry, if you do the safety well, you’ll get a good chance of evacuating on time because the airframes are designed to do that.
Make sure to have a plan in order to get to the emergency exit by counting seats. Also, even though you may be afraid of height, just jump when you reach the exit — you need to escape ASAP. After that, get out of the way quickly. If you failed to do that, you could create a stampede and be in threat with more injuries and having less ability to get away from the fire.
So, after reading the story, you know more about plane crashes, the natural tendency of people, and how to survive it. After all, they are extraordinarily rare, and the way to the airport is actually the most dangerous part of your flight because you are much more likely to be in a car crash.
- NOVA | The Deadliest Plane Crash | How Risky Is Flying?, PBS, https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/planecrash/risky.html
- Study shows private airplane accidents result in most fatalities, Kreindler & Kreindler LLP, https://www.kreindler.com/Articles/Study-shows-private-airplane-accidents-result-in-most-fatalities.shtml
- 2018 Data Show Increase in U.S. Aviation Fatalities, Flight Safety Foundation, 15 November 2019, https://flightsafety.org/2018-data-show-increase-in-u-s-aviation-fatalities/
- How likely are you to survive a plane crash?, BBC News, 1 August 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-45030345