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A Boeing 787 Captain Gives Tips On How To Survive If Your Plane Goes Down

A Boeing 787 Captain Gives Tips On How To Survive If Your Plane Goes Down

By the time the flight attendants start going over emergency landing procedures, you’ve probably popped in your earbuds and are flipping through your onboard reading material. And although the chances of dying in a plane crash are pretty slim, the safety information is actually pretty good to know given that it can increase your chances of survival. Dave Inch, captain of a Boeing 787 used by airlines such as United Airlines and British Airways, created a post on Quora about the best techniques for survival, as revealed by Business Insider.

The first step is to prepare for the crash and your escape route. This means taking sharp objects out of your pockets, loosening your belt and taking off ties and scarves. If you are wearing glasses or high heels, take those off too.

Your next step is find all the exits because not all of them can be used if the plane lands on water. After that, count the number of rows you’ll need to go through to get to them in case the plane fills with smoke and you are unable to see.

Follow directions. Don’t get out of your seat unless a flight attendant tells you to do so. Don’t open doors or windows unless you are instructed to. In a smoky situation, cover your mouth with a cloth and try to keep low to the ground.

Captain Dave emphasized the importance of following instructions and not taking photos and videos of the ordeal if it impedes your ability to survive.

Don’t inflate your life vest until you are out the door because you could get trapped and be unable to swim underwater to an exit.

Once out of the plane, keep away to avoid smoke and flames but don’t wander too far so that you can be accounted for.

Most of all, the pilot stressed following instructions to increase your chances of survival.

View Comments (10)

10 Comments

  1. Dublin_rfk

    May 20, 2018 at 3:33 am

    Simple facts, common sense, easy to follow and instantly forgotten in the rush to get out your phone and tweet goodbye.

  2. Dalo

    May 21, 2018 at 9:53 am

    I will be counting rows to the exits from now on .

  3. brentleatherman

    May 22, 2018 at 6:28 am

    “Don’t inflate your life vest until you are out the door because you could get trapped and be unable to swim underwater to an exit.”

    — When they gave us this brief in the Navy prior to us being transported in helicopters, it was a lot simpler: “If you inflate your life vest before getting out of the bird, you’ll go down with it and die.”

    I could see potential changes made to the pre-flight announcements that would get people’s attention more easily.

  4. rjlon

    May 22, 2018 at 6:54 am

    Very timely as BA has 787’s with Rolls Royce engines which are subject to new FAA restrictions due to engine unreliability.

  5. bagwell

    May 22, 2018 at 7:33 am

    how bout some stats on the safest area to sit on an aircraft??? instead of just common sense items.

  6. DENflyer3

    May 22, 2018 at 8:04 am

    Article mentions “Don’t get out of your seat unless a flight attendant tells you to do so.”

    I’ve heard the exact opposite from flight crews. I went through an old UAL crash simulator at the old Stapleton facility, about 25 years ago and they specifically had FA’s giving conflicting orders. They said there is a fog of war effect during a crash some people will know what to do and others will not. You have to make good decisions on your own, but at the end of it, you are in fact, on your own to get out of the plane.

  7. HarryHolden68

    May 22, 2018 at 8:19 am

    “Captain Dave emphasized the importance of following instructions”.

    Interesting. In the British Airtours disaster in Manchester in 1985, it was reported that one passenger seated near the back of the aircraft only survived because they did not follow instructions.

  8. MaldivesFreak

    MaldivesFreak

    May 22, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    I think “If you are wearing glasses or high heels, take those off too.” should be changed to “If you are wearing NON-PRESCRIPTION glasses or high heels, take those off too.”
    No sense in taking off glasses that enable you to see normally.

  9. southpac

    May 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    bagwell, where to sit does not seem to make a lot of difference. This had been looked at many times. Although being close to an exit that can actually be used, might help. That said, not much use being in an exit row, if that exit can’t be used.

  10. kilbornr

    May 22, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    umm, how about:
    Leave your belongings behind. Anything you or others take with you causes unnecessary delay and jeopardizes the lives of others.

    I don’t understand “loosen your belt”. I assume he means pants belt and not seat belt. Does that mean take it off? or just make it loose. What effect does that achieve. Looser seems to make it more likely to get caught on something. Off means your pants might fall down.

    My advice is that it is very very unlikely that you will be in a crash and if you are, it is even more rare that you would be in a crash where some people survive because they were prepared and others perish because they were not. Can anyone even cite crashes like this? The only ones I can think of were water landings where people inflated vests. More often then not, we see incidents where people bring their carryons from burning planes and end up just fine anyway.

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