When an Asiana Airways flight crashed at San Francisco airport this weekend, it got a lot of people thinking about air safety. More specifically: since two people aboard the Boeing 777 died and everyone else survived, can passengers do anything to make themselves more safe in the event of a crash?
Air safety experts say there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting out in one piece. Most of their advice is common sense – like “don’t panic,” – while some of their recommendations are less obvious. And it all boils down to preparation and thinking practically.
So before you take off, it’s important to know all the stuff they tell you in the safety announcement video.
Checking there is a life jacket under your seat, for example, and knowing how to inflate it could save your life in the event of a crash landing.
Knowing where the exits are, and knowing well enough to be able to navigate toward them in the dark and/or smoke if necessary, could also make the difference between life and death. As does knowing how to open the emergency door, which the safety video before take-off explains.
It’s often been mooted that the brace position – head down, hands covering head – is a conspiracy to induce a painless death rather than save lives. Andy Clubb, director of safety at British Airways, says the brace position has been proven to be the safest posture in the event of an emergency landing.
Wearing sensible shoes and clothing – long shirt and trousers – could also help you to navigate a wreck and to survive in the cold, depending on where the plane comes down.