Fasten your seatbelt
International Herald Tribune
Published: January 25, 2008
What's the point of listening to the safety instructions given by flight attendants? If there's a crash, everybody dies, right?
Most airline passengers apparently feel this way. More than half of passengers in a large study by the National Transportation Safety Board admitted to routinely ignoring the flight attendants, heeding no more than half of their little spiel.
Look at what happened at Heathrow Airport in London just last week. A Boeing 777 crash-landed, tearing off the landing gear and disabling the airplane. Yet there were only 13 minor injuries among the 152 passengers.
In 23 of the 27 DC-10 airplanes destroyed in accidents, 90 percent of the passengers have survived. In one 1989 crash in Sioux City, Iowa - a crash so violent that the plane broke into multiple sections and a fireball erupted - 185 of the 296 passengers and crew members survived, including a baby placed on the floor (as instructed).
The flight attendants have reason to tell you, first of all, to keep your seat belt fastened. People have broken their necks bouncing off the ceiling when a plane suddenly drops a few hundred feet in severe turbulence.