How to Survive a Plane Crash, According to a Former Flight Attendant
This article originally appeared on travelandleisure.com.
Although it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll ever be involved in a plane crash—it happens only about once every 1.2 million flights—it never hurts to be prepared.
A flight attendant shared her knowledge and gave the internet her tips for surviving a plane crash on Quora.
Cheryl Schwartz, a retired flight attendant for United Airlines, answered the question “When an airplane crashes and kills all of its passengers, what specifically causes the people to die?”
Schwartz advised that before sitting down, passengers verify how many rows they are away from the nearest emergency exit. In an emergency situation, visibility may be impaired so knowing exactly how to exit the aircraft could speed the evacuation process for everyone.
That applies to every flight, even if a passenger thinks they’re familiar with an aircraft.
“I don’t care if you have flown in 747s for decades, they are not all the same,” she wrote.
Schwartz also recommended knowing which brace position is best for each assigned seat. For those with another seat in front of them, use that seat back as a brace for which to support your head. Others can bend over their legs and grab behind their knees for support. Passengers should also keep seatbelts buckled tight at all times.
And passengers should know what to leave behind. Trying to bring any possessions along in an emergency situation can slow down everyone’s exit from the plane. A carry-on, even one carrying your prized possessions, isn’t worth dying for.
“We have 90 seconds to evacuate 600 passengers or 30 passengers,” Schwartz wrote. “We have trained and know how to do it, and your carry-on doesn’t fit into the mix.”
And lastly, she said don’t wait for rescue: “Most crashes are survivable,” Schwartz said. “Yet, with survivable crashes, crash scene investigators find passengers without a scratch on them still belted in their seats, dead.”