What you do during the last few minutes before a crash can make the difference between life and death. Here is the best advice I could find...

  • EVERY time you get on an airplane, make an emergency exit plan - Locate nearest exits--in front, behind and across--and plan how you would get to each."
  • Count number of seat rows to the exits - If you can't see due to smoke or darkness, feel your way to an exit by counting the seat backs.
  • Buckle your seat belt - Even with reminders, people forget.
  • Do NOT inflate your life jacket INSIDE plane - Inflated jackets limit your mobility inside the plane, so only inflate if needed outside the plane.
  • Fold or bend your upper torso down as much as possible - This limits the 'jackknife' effect of impact, and helps stop you from flying forward and striking the seat or interior in front of you,
  • Remember to PULL the latch to release seat belt - Airplane seat belts are different from your car; you don't press a button to release.
  • Exit as quickly as possible - Follow instructions, but everyone's goal should be to exit the plane as quickly as possible.
  • Dress for survival - NO shorts! Wear shoes you can run in, and cloths made of non-melting, low flammable materials (cotton). Jeans and long sleeves work well.
  • Protect your legs and feet - Plant your feet as far back as you can to help prevent them from flying out on impact.
  • Place carry-on baggage under the seat in front of you - Provides a block so your feet and legs won't go up under the seat.
  • Leave ALL baggage behind - Baggage is an obstruction to your exit, reduces mobility, and you need your hands and mobility to make a quick exit.
  • Best place to sit? - Depends on the crash, so you can't predict beforehand, say researchers.


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