Survival Abroad: Survive a Plane Crash

An excerpt from “How To Survive Anything” (Just released!!)

Plane crashes are exceedingly rare – at least for airliners. But this factoid still leaves us wanting more consolation when our knuckles are white and we’ve had a few drinks, and the bumpy flight is still making us nervous.

Despite the rarity of accidents involving large aircraft, it easy to fixate on the bad scenarios that we remember – rather than thinking about all the safe and successful flights we never paid attention to. When things go wrong on a plane, it’s usually very quick and unexpected. Not surprisingly, the last words spoken before a plane crash often involve a hasty reference to a malfunction, a brief mention of God, or a final quick message to a loved one. There’s not much time to react. That’s why it’s so important to know what to do and how to do it, so that you can react correctly during a disaster and make the right moves. Your survival depends on it.

Assume The Position
Research has proven that airplane brace positions do increase the chances of survival in an emergency crash landing. The basic position is to keep your feet flat on the floor. Wear your seat belt low and tight over your lap. If the seat in front of you is close, place your head and hands against it. If there’s too much room for that, bring your chest to your knees and grip your shins with your hands. Stay in this position until the plane has come to a stop. These positions reduce the high velocity your head would be moving when it inevitably slams into the seat in front of you. This position also minimizes limb flailing, which minimizes limb injury and increases your chances of being unharmed enough to escape the crashed plane.

Just image how hard it would be to unbuckle your seat belt with two broken arms, or climb over seats to the emergency exit with a broken leg. And if you are heading for a water landing, be ready to use the flotation devices aboard. Also be ready to grab and use the oxygen mask, should they be deployed. Since young children and infants cannot use the adult brace position, an adult should hold the child as tightly as they can with one arm, and continue their own brace position with their other arm. Kids too big for the lap, and teens, should assume the brace position and be buckled into their own seat.

These tips, and many more survival skills, are available in MacWelch’s books:

How to Survive Anything

Prepare For Anything

Hunting and Gathering Survival Manual 

And if that’s not enough, you can:
Follow Tim on Twitter @timmacwelch

Take one of his survival classes at
and check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles at Outdoor Life Magazine’s survival site, The Survivalist ( link )

And check out more of MacWelch’s outdoor skills and survival articles in Outdoor Life Magazine.


Shop Sportsman’s Guide NOW for a great selection of Emergency Supplies!

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