Most of us who have flown before know that all airlines have their own safety manual, which they go through before every flight, usually accompanied by an instructional video on the screen attached to the headrest in front of you. We’re supposed to pay attention to it, but many of us do not. These manuals vary in specifics from airline to airline, and depend on the type of plane you're flying in. To put your fear of flying to rest, prepare yourself if you're at all concerned about the big "what if".
It is a natural human instinct to panic when things going wrong. The best way to combat this natural instinct is through preparedness. If you have gone through the necessary procedures to plan for different scenarios, then if it actually happens you will be ready to take action. Taking action means to take a deep breath, analyze the situation, and instigate the procedure you have planned for.
Brace for Impact
Many countries' aviation authorities have researched the best way to brace for impact in an airplane with forward facing seats and a single lap belt. The commonality of many of these studies include the following:
- Place head on surface it is most likely to strike. This usually means leaning forward and resting it on the headrest in front of you. If you have an airplane pillow or article of clothing, place it between you and the headrest.
- This also puts the body in a forward, angled position leaning over. Helps avoid whiplash or jackknifing.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. Helps to maintain your body in the bracing position.
Aircraft evacuation will depend on the type of plane you are traveling in. Make sure you read through the aircraft safety card, and look around you for the nearest evacuation point. The safety cards also include information on slides and flotation devices for water landings.
Inflating Your Life vest
This is a feature of the safety manual that most of us remember. Put the life vest over your head and pull down on the two tabs on either side. Keep your head up and back. The life vest immediately inflates. An important thing to remember is to not inflate until you have exited the plane. If you inflate your life vest while still inside the cabin, you are increasing your volume, which will make it more difficult to evacuate through a small opening, and slow you down for a quick escape.
Hopefully this article will help you conquer your fear of flying. It is extremely unlikely that this will every happen to you, but now you have the knowledge to survive a plane crash.