The Lion Air Flight crashed near Jakarta, apparently killing all 189 passengers and crew onboard, make the flight safety becomes more seriously than ever.
Accident happens, no one can tell in advance, however; you can prepare yourself. Here are several tips that experts suggest in the unlikely event of a problem on your next flight.
- Stay calm.
Keep a clear head. Panic doesn’t help.
- Have a plan.
When you board a plane, be aware of your surroundings. Visibility will be reduced in a smoke-filled cabin, so count the number of rows between you and the two nearest exits.
- Listen to the preflight safety briefing and study the seat-back safety card.
Pay attention to it! Don’t assume you know it all, as every type of airplane has different safety instructions. If you’re sitting near the exit door, read the instructions to learn how to open it.
- Dress properly.
Dress in comfortable clothes which help you move quickly, if you ever need to. Wearing long sleeves and trousers also help to protect your skin from exposure to friction or flame. Avoid wearing high heels, as these must be removed before evacuating via an emergency slide.
- Keep your seat belt securely fastened – but remember how it unfastens.
And always keep your seat belt fastened no matter what the light says.
- Don’t spend too much time looking for the safest seat: It may not exist.
A seat next to an exit does not always guarantee a speedy evacuation since some exits may not function after an accident. And while an aisle seat may ensure an easier exit, you are also at risk from falling objects from overhead bins.
- Check for a life jacket before taking off.
It is usually under the seat, packed in a plastic casing.
- Do not inflate your jacket in the plane.
Many of the 123 who were killed in the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 off the Comoro Islands near Africa in 1996 had inflated their jackets in the cabin. This meant that they were unable to dive and reach the exits when the cabin flooded.
- If worst comes to worst, brace yourself for impact.
The aim is to prevent being rapidly propelled forward. Return your seat to the upright position and lower your head to your knees or rest it on the seat in front of you.
Put your hands behind your head, but do not lace your fingers. Keep your elbows to the side of your head, but not over knees.
- Put your oxygen mask on yourself first, then help others.
Because if you run out of oxygen, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygen mask.
- If you have to jump, do it.
When it’s time to leave the aircraft, exit will be by slide. Jump feet-first, arms folded across chest and lean forward. If you hesitate, Clubb warns, a member of the cabin crew is likely to push you.