Could where you sit save your life in a plane crash?
EUGENE, Ore. - Depending on where you sit in the plane gives you a higher chance of survival if your plane goes down.
The Nation Transportation Safety Board estimates about one in every 1.2 million flights ends up in an accident of some kind. And with that factoid, Gary Goldsmith, Chief Pilot of the Eugene Flight Center, said choosing where to sit, making a plan and being aware of your surroundings are essential if you're in a crash situation.
"Look around, just know where the exit is. Maybe make a plan if something does happen. It's rare that it's ever going to happen, but as pilots we all plan for the worst," he said.
Goldsmith said as passengers, we should take the same standard.
"Normally the safest place to sit in any aircraft is toward the rear of the aircraft, especially a large, commercial airliner like we saw this accident happen with the 777," he said.
Goldsmith notes that the front, first class cabins are generally the most unsafe because planes often crash nose first. "It's rare that a plane crashes tail down, a clear indication the pilots were going to slow and low."
If the rear of the aircraft is not where you'd like to sit, Goldsmith says any of the aisle seats are safe, espcially those within a few rows of the emergency exits at the exits themselves.
"You don't have to try to climb over people, in case somebody was hurt. Follow the aisles, use the armrests as a guide. And stay down until you find the exits."
The passengers on Asiana Airlines Flight 214 has mere seconds to react. Goldsmith said that's very little time to prepare. Goldsmith said making a plan before take-off and listening to pre-flight safety information can save your life.
"The first and last 2-to-3 thousand feet is the most critical time for planes," he said. "That's when the engines are under the most stress."
When asked about reading through the instructions, Goldsmith said don't do it. Instead, "maybe make a plan if something does happen."
Goldsmith says the biggest rule is to not panic. "You're going to have to get off that aircraft as quickly as possible. there's going to be a lot of things happening very quickly, there's going to be a lot of debris, and a lot of baggage floating around."