"Riding on a commercial airplane has got about the same amount of risk as riding on an escalator," says MIT International Center for Air Transportation Director John Hansman.
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80% of all plane crashes happen within the first three minutes of takeoff or in the last eight minutes before landing.
These are times that you want to be alert.
Keep your shoes on, wait to pull out the book and stay awake.
For me the absolute scariest times on a plane is when we are taking off and landing.
[I literally squeeze my husband hand and sit with my head back taking deep breaths until we land. I really try hard to go to my happy place and think happy thoughts but when the turbulence jolts me back to reality my husband loses even more feeling in his hand.....its terrible!]
I am writing about this not to make ya'll scared of flying but to make you more informed. A smart traveler is a safe traveler in my opinion.
And FYI according to statistics flying is still one of the safest ways to travel.
The more you know the better off you will be in any situation.
So what can you do to make yourself when in the air?
1. When booking your tickets choose seats that are within five rows of exits. Reason being that when a plane starts to go down you have exactly 90 seconds before smoke and flames over take you so sitting near exit seats are crucial.
2. Avoid first class. According to study done in the UK where they crashed an actual Boeing 727 that they equipped with cameras and dummies - the first class section was hit with 12Gs forces ripping the first 11 rows completely off. While the back of the plane only was hit with 6Gs leaving the first class with no survivors as opposed to the 78% survival chance of the rest of the plane.
Before I go on I want you to keep in mind that the actual chances of you being involved in a plane crash are just 1 in 4.7 million....to be exact!
3. Brace for impact. According to a test done for airline safety passengers who knowingly braced for impact increased their chances for surviving the crash. Bracing means leaning forward in your seat and covering your head with your arms. If you remain upright the tremendous amount of debris flying around could prove deadly.
(essentially - just get out of the plane as fast as you can by sitting within five rows of exit seats)
4. Be prepared - pay attention during the stewardess demonstrations. Do not just assume you know everything. Reach for things to actually know where they are as she explains.
5. Do not panic! The only reason to panic is if you are not prepared. Be prepared for anything!!!!!
You are responsible for your own life so if you know what you are doing and are prepared you have a better chance of surviving.
Which airline is the safest to fly with?
Clearly it is best to avoid airlines that are notorious for poor on time performance, lots of passenger complaints, and financial problems. This statements reinforces "doing your homework".
Some airlines have a clean slate with no fatalities and crashes such as Southwest and US Air and then you have some like Korean Air which have had several fatal events. The safety of airlines really depends on how strictly they are regulated by the nation's aviation authority.
You always have a choice of who you fly with so before you book - research the airlines.
And for a list of questions and answers the Boeing website has a great list on safety - check it out!