Skip to content

Mental Health Center

How to Survive a Plane Crash

FAA's Tips for Air Travelers
Font Size
A
A
A

Follow Instructions if Available continued...

Reports from the National Transportation Safety Board have noted some crash victims "are found sitting in their seats still buckled in," says Corbett. "So, you don't have to wait for orders to be able to evacuate."

"But generally, when it's time to evacuate, somebody's going to be yelling, 'Remove your seatbelts, get up, evacuate now,'" says Corbett.

"Each situation is going to be unique, but that doesn't mean you have to sit and wait for an order to be able to do something, and it's important to know what to do."

Forget Your Baggage

If you've got to evacuate a plane, don't try to take anything with you, says Corbett.

"If it's something that's really important to you, stick it in your pocket [or a waist pack] so your arms are free."

Items may get in the way of other passengers trying to evacuate or slow you down. "You might get stuck on that plane with your luggage," says Corbett.

Exit Row Responsibility

Passengers sitting in an exit row get extra responsibility and should pay special attention to flight attendants' briefings, says Corbett.

"Rather than taking an exit row because it gives us a little bit more leg room, I would sure like passengers who request those rows to realize that they're also accepting responsibility when they say 'yes, I know I'm sitting here' and 'yes, I agree' to whatever the flight attendant happens to be saying to them."

To Help or Not?

If the oxygen mask drops down, put it on yourself before helping someone else.

"In the worst of conditions, the occupants would only have about 10 seconds before they would actually become unconscious," says Corbett. "Obviously, if you're responsible for someone else, then you need to take care of yourself first and then take care of the other person. Otherwise, neither one of you will be taken care of."

Beyond that, it's up to each passenger to decide for themselves whether to stop and help others. "That's a personal decision ... a moral issue that the FAA doesn't have rules about," says Corbett.

Today on WebMD

contemplation
Differences between feeling depressed or feeling blue.
lunar eclipse
Signs of mania and depression.
 
man screaming
Causes, symptoms, and therapies.
woman looking into fridge
When food controls you.
 
Woman standing in grass field barefoot, wind blowi
Article
senior man eating a cake
Article
 
Phobias
Slideshow
woman reading medicine warnings
Article
 
depressed young woman
Article
thumbnail_tired_woman_yawning
Article
 
veteran
Article
overturned shot glass
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections