Qantasclub From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 757 posts, RR: 2 Posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4569 times:
Whilst on the subject of crashes, lets say you were sitting on a 744 or wide-body which dived and was headed to the ground, where do people think the highest proportion of survivors come from? The tail? The nose? over the wing? Would be interested to hear from any structural engineers on this.
Yes, we all know that flying is the safest form of travel, but this is just in THEORY......
PIA777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1738 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4310 times:
The tail section is probably the best place to sit because it is the furthest from the nose, which is likely to hit the ground first. Unless if the plane stalls and hits tail first, then the nose section would be the best. But over all there is no safe place to sit when a plane is crashing.
Leezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4041 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 4190 times:
It all depends on the type of crash as to where is the best place to sit, so there is no way of predicting where is best.
If I'm in Econ, I prefer to sit towards the back, as the back usually snaps off, and an aircraft has yet to fly backwards into a mountain, but it doesn't really make that much differance to me as you never know what is going to happen.
Most of the people killed in the 1985 Manchester 737 disaster were in the back, whereas in the Sioux City crash, survivors came from all sections of the a/c, and in the MD-11 crash at HKG, all but 3 survived.
So nowhere on an a/c is really any safer than anywhere else.
"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
Yqfca From Canada, joined Jun 2001, 156 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 6 days ago) and read 3964 times:
The strongest section of a plane is the wingbox. So....sitting on top of it is the best place. However, the wingbox is ususally also a fuel tank. So the second strongest fuselage section is the tail where the diameter is the smallest. Of course some aircraft have fuel tanks in the horizontal stabilizers and makes it difficult to stay clear of fuel. Thing is that it largely depents on what kind of crash. CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) is the most common type of crash and there the tail section is your best bet.
A crash on water recuces the threat of fire and the over wingbox is better spot to be.
MD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1330 posts, RR: 20
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3867 times:
Sit right by an EMERGENCY EXIT. If you survive the impact, you need to get away from the aircraft. If it's a survivable crash, don't be the person overcome by smoke and disorientaion. Many people have survived the impact only to die by smoke and fire because they could not get away from the aircraft.
3green From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3843 times:
I remember back in`89, when the UA DC10 crash landed after severe hydraulic failure, most of the survivors were in the mid section, and shortly after, i read in a newspaper, many people who knew they were flying on a DC10 when booking their tickets began asking to be allocated in the mid section of the aircraft, does anybody else remember this?
Brianhames From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 795 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3711 times:
they're built to withstand like 20 G's or something nowadays
Yeah but the human body isn't.
I remember seeing on a TV show sometime that your body is able to tolerate 80% of the forces encountered in your "average" crash, and that it's usually the fire that will kill you. They were saying this while running the footage of that remote control 707 they crashed with the new type of jet fuel or whatever. But I don't know if there is any real validity to those statements.
I'd say there probably isn't a safest seat on the plane, its impossible to tell. But there were no first class survivors of the UAL DC-10 in Sioux City.
Qantasclub From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 757 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3617 times:
Interesting replies, guys. There seems to be 2 schools of thought: either the tail or over the wing. My personal feeling is that although the wing is the most secure area structurally, it is also LOADED with fuel and is likely to be the first bit to combust. So i would go for the tail. Just thought someone may have compiled some statistics on the subject.
Most of the SQ taipei crash survivors were inthe tail I think.
In reality, it's hard to know I guess, coz all crashes, point of impact, angle of descent, etc, are different.
Airdude66 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 187 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3556 times:
Well, as part of an emergency response team - we have studied many crashes. Therefore you can reason this out as follows.
Unless you are seated in the cockpit or forward F/A jumpseat - I would not sit in front of the wings unlees my insurance was paid up. In a serious disaster, this group will not make it.
Over wing seating/exit rows. Exit seating was designed for emergency evac. In the event of a crash, the distortion of the structure from impact will probably make it impossible to remove the window exit anyway. Typically, the a/c will break away in front of the wing, behind the wing or both. Since you are seated on top a fuel tank, if it has not already combusted it will have been breached from impact and could very possibly be ignited as a result of the a/c breaking up. You will probably be engulfed in flames or quickly (seconds) be overcome by toxic fumes. I would not select these seats.
I do agree with the last row of the aircraft. If the planes dives nose first - the tail will break away. If you have a level impact - the tail will break away.
If you lose power and impact tail first - the tail will act as a fulcrum point and slam the rest of the aircraft into the ground and break away. You must remember that after you assume the crash position, you must remember to stay in that position for a minute after everything comes to a halt. DO NOT LOOK UP - as a result of the impact, there could possibly be a fireball the will surge through the cabin or down the aisle. Wait, if there is one you will hear it coming. Remember, most likely your exit is behind you. You must be familiar with your a/c briefing card as to how to operate the doors at your exit and/or blow the tail cone. MEMORIZE this. You must be able to close your eyes and visualize the demonstration pictures - YOU WILL BE OPENING THE DOOR IN DARKNESS more than likely due to spoke. Always crawl as low as you can. The smoke is HIGHLY TOXIC. Believe it or not, I always travel with a bottle of water that I place inside the seat back pocket in front of me in the event I need to wet my shirt to wrap around my mouth to breath. It will buy you those critical few seconds you will need. Also remember that sitting in the back row - all aircraft seats break forward - in your in the back row, you will not have anyone on top of you or anyone that hits you and adds to a secondary impact for you from behind.
If electric lines are involved you may not know. Try to exit the aircraft without touching the aircraft and the ground at the same time. Jump if this can be done without causing additional injury.
I hope this helps. I still believe flying is the safest way to travel. I firmly believe that those who are educated and fully prepared can and will survive a disaster. The briefing cards in your seat back pocket are an invaluable source of survival information.
Just as with everything else in life. Skiing, driving, swimming etc. - be educated, be prepared and never be indifferent.