plane flying through a storm

Photo Credit: David Joyner/istock

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How can you survive a plane crash? After going through the FAA's plane crash survival school in Oklahoma City and interviewing many experts and survivors of plane crashes, here are four key tips:
  1. It within five rows of any exit. One British safety expert reviewed seating plans in more than 100 crashes and interviewed nearly 2,000 passengers. He concluded that five rows is the cut-off for getting out of a burning plane. Beyond that range, your chances of survival are much lower. People in aisles seats have higher survival rates than people in window seats.
  2. Pay attention to the safety briefing and develop your Plan A and Plan B in the event of an emergency. Count the number of rows to your nearest exit and your backup.
  3. Focus on your action plan during the first three minutes of flight and the last eight minutes. That's when around 80 percent of accidents happen. In other words, before takeoff and landing, don't take off your shoes; don't put on a face mask to sleep; and don't wear earphones.
  4. Leave Your Roll-On Behind and Don't Forget Your Family. That's right. Investigators say that evacuees frequently try to bring their carry-on luggage. That's a big mistake because that can slow you down when every second counts. Experts say that passengers also have been known to flee, leaving behind husbands, wives and even children. So safety experts actually suggest rehearsing what you would do in a crash and how you want to behave.
  5. Relax. Your chances of dying on your next flight are one in 60 million. That means you could fly every day for the next 160,000 years and enjoy the peanuts without a problem.
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