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How Do People Survive Plane Crashes?

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Playlist Description

A question that has worried people since the dawn of flight: what are the odds of surviving a plane crash? Although more than 40 percent of passengers report fear of being involved in a plane crash, the odds are in our favor. Statistically speaking, one would have to take a flight every day for 55,000 years before encountering a fatal accident. Despite big-budget Hollywood films' depictions of plane crashes, flying is actually the safest mode of transportation. In fact, the odds of a plane crash are one for every 1.2 million flights, with odds of dying one in 11 million. Your chances of dying in a car or traffic accident are one in 5,000. Astoundingly, even if you are aboard one of the one in 1.2 flights that crash, 95.7 percent of passengers survive. And according to the National Transportation Safety Board, even passengers of the most devastating airplane crashes survive at a rate of 76 percent.

Despite its safety, air travel malfunctions can cause passenger distress, and on rare occasion, result in a crash. So what can you do to prepare yourself, if anything? What boosts our odds for survival? And if airplane deaths are so rare, why do so many people report phobias of flying? Buckle in as this playlist guides you through some crucial safety tips, firsthand survivor accounts and archival footage.

02:44

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A survivor of United Airlines Flight 173 to Portland describes what went through her mind as the plane crashed into a suburb 20 miles away from its destination. From: AIR DISASTERS: Focused on Failure http://bit.ly/1nMFk7l
02:40

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Alice McMahon is now the only living survivor of a 1946 plane crash in the Swiss Alps. Over 65 years later, she returns to the glacier where she was rescued. From: STRANDED: ALPINE AIR CRASH http://bit.ly/1ox96mV
02:29

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Subscribe to Discovery! | http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=discoverynetworks Spoiler Alert! See what happens from the inside of a jetliner during a crash. | For more Curiosity, visit http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/#mkcpgn=ytdsc1
02:38

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After a Boeing 737 plummets into the Peruvian jungle, survivors of the crash struggle to free themselves from the wreckage before it explodes. From: AIR DISASTERS: Blind Landing http://bit.ly/1qDINw1
02:23

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Watch more Disaster Survival & Worst-Case Scenarios videos: http://www.howcast.com/videos/429840-How-to-Avoid-Sinking-into-Quicksand In the unlikely event you're ever in a plane crash, these tips will dramatically improve your odds of walking away from it alive. Step 1: Book a good seat Book a seat in the exit row or within five rows of it. People in those seats have the highest survival rates. Tip Aisle seats are safer than windows seats, unless you're sitting next to an exit door. Step 2: Dress for escape Wear pants and a long-sleeved shirt made of non-flammable material, like denim or cotton, and flat, sturdy, closed-toe shoes. You want clothes that don't restrict movement, but also offer some protection from flames, flying debris, and the elements. Step 3: Bring a smoke hood Bring a smoke hood, or even just a wet washcloth sealed in a plastic bag. Most crash victims survive impact, but die of smoke inhalation. Tip If you don't have a smoke hood or wet cloth, breathe through your clothing. Step 4: Memorize the layout Once aboard, count the seats between you and the nearest front and rear emergency exit. You want to be able to feel your way should the cabin fill with smoke. Note where the flight attendants sit, so you'll know where to turn for instructions. Step 5: Brace yourself When instructed, brace yourself for an emergency landing. With your feet on the floor, cross your arms on the seat in front of you and lower your head onto them. If there is no seat in front, hug your knees. Try to remain that way until the plane comes to a complete stop. Tip Remove any sharp objects from your shirt and pants. If you wear glasses, take them off. Step 6: Know how to undo your seatbelt It may sound stupid, but remind yourself that airplane seat belts open by lifting a buckle, not pushing a button. Research shows that many flyers forget this when they're panicked, delaying their exit. Step 7: Stoop, don't crawl If the cabin fills with smoke, forget what you learned about staying close to the floor in a fire. In a commercial jetliner, you want to stoop, not crawl. You'll still get air, but you won't run the risk of being trampled. Tip Exit the plane immediately and find your loved ones outside. Trying to find them inside will delay everyone, including those you're trying to help. Step 8: Run like heck Once off the plane, run for your life -- literally. You want to get away from the plane in case it explodes. Did You Know? Research shows that passengers who sit near the back of the plane are 40% more likely to survive a crash than those in the first few rows.
09:26

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This is a warning: if you, or someone you know is about to get on a plane within 24 hours...don't read this list. This is a counter-warning: there are thousands of flights all around the world that take off and land without any issues every day. If you end up reading this list anyway (which you almost certainly will), just know that you have a greater chance of dying in the car on your way to the airport than you do in even the worst of flying conditions. That was supposed to make you feel you good. Having said all that, here are the 25 worst aviation disasters and plane crashes in history. https://twitter.com/list25 https://www.facebook.com/list25 http://list25.com Check out the text version too! - http://list25.com/25-worst-aviation-disasters-and-plane-crashes-in-history/ Here's a preview: Lauda Air Flight 004 -- 223 dead China Airlines Flight 611 -- 225 dead Korean Air Flight 801 -- 228 dead Air France Flight 447 -- 228 dead Swissair Flight 111 -- 229 dead TWA Flight 800 -- 230 dead Garuda Indonesia Flight 152 -- 234 dead 1996 Air Africa crash -- 237 dead Arrow Air Flight 1285 -- 256 dead Mount Erebus disaster -- 257 dead Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 -- 261 dead China Airlines Flight 140 -- 264 dead American Airlines Flight 587 -- 265 dead Korean Air Lines Flight 007 -- 269 dead Lockerbie Bombing -- 270 dead American Airlines Flight 191 -- 273 dead Iranian Air Force -- 275 dead Iran Air Flight 655 -- 290 dead Saudia Flight 163 -- 301 dead Air India Flight 182 -- 329 dead Ermenonville air disaster -- 346 dead Charkhi Dadri mid-air collision -- 349 dead Japan Airlines Flight 123 -- 520 dead Tenerife Airport Disaster -- 583 dead 9/11 flights
03:03

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http://bigthink.com Survival expert Laurence Gonzales explains how to increase your chances of surviving some of the most common deadly scenarios. Question: What should you do if you're stranded in the wilderness? Laurence Gonzales: The first thing that you should do when you find yourself lost in the wilderness is to sit down and calm yourself.  Usually finding out that you're lost and it comes as a revelation is very shocking and it can cause panic.  The worst thing to do is to run around trying to find your way again.  The best thing to do is sit down.  If you have some food or water, have some food and water, and then examine everything you have, look at your resources and start thinking about making a plan.  That is the single most helpful thing you can do.  Oftentimes people realized they are lost and they start running around trying to find their way and they hurt themselves.  Pretty soon they're incapacitated and they wind up dying. Question: How can we increase our chances of surviving airline crashes? Laurence Gonzales: Many airline crashes are survivable and there are a number of things you can do to help make sure that you are one of the people who does survive.  First of all, you should wear closed shoes.  You shouldn't wear open-toed shoes on airliner because you may be stepping on sharp stuff when you're trying to get out of there.  The plane maybe on fire too, so you shouldn't wear synthetic clothing, which will melt in exposure to heat.  Whenever I get on an airliner, I count the number of rows between me and the window exits, and I notice where the other exits are too because the first thing you're going to do is make your way to those exits.  And the other thing is simply to bring yourself to a state of calm where you can do simple things, like open your seatbelt to get out of the seat.  It sounds like anyone would do that but in fact, accident investigators have told me that they found people dead in their seats with their seat belts on after a survivable accident that the plane had filled with smoke and they hadn't even unbuckled their seatbelts they had been so frozen with fright.  So you need to kind of go through these things in your mind and be prepared to act if something happens. Question: How should we prepare for and survive a terrorist bombing? Laurence Gonzales: If you want to prepare for something like a terrorist bombing, there are certain things that you can do; there are certain things that you can't do.  If you're in the vicinity of a bomb that goes off, chances are, you're not going to survive it.  But if you're not and it simply does damage to your building, or sets it on fire, then it's a very good idea to know exactly where you are going and to plan this before and perhaps even rehearsed it.  Whenever I travel and I'm in a hotel, I go down the stairs on purpose, avoid the elevator and go down the stairs to see where the stairs are and what it's like to go down there.  Because if you can imagine waking up, you know, with the building in flames at 3:00 in the morning and you're groggy and you're frightened and you think you know where you are, but you really don't.  It's a good idea to let your body know where that exit is and once you practice is once or even twice, you will know.
04:05

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For more, visit http://animal.discovery.com/videos/i-shouldnt-be-alive/#mkcpgn=ytapl1 | Three friends crash a small plane in the Rockies during a sightseeing trip. Two of them are near death, so the third must go on foot to get help. He is picked up by a rescue helicopter, and then that aircraft crashes as well! Don't Miss New Episodes of I Shouldn't Be Alive, Wednesdays at 10 PM E/P
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When all of the systems suddenly shut down on this airliner, it's up to the captain to land the largest passenger jet in the world - while flying blind. From: TERROR IN THE SKIES: Technical Meltdown http://bit.ly/1uB95kv
01:10

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Full title reads: "Nice, France. Don't 'Bird' the 'Bird-Man'! After all - he believed in his own invention, look - listen & don't laugh, please!!" Nice, France. M/S of wooden glider. Monsieur Albert Sovo (sp?) being helped into his glider - described by the French accented voiceover as a crash proof plane. The glider is balanced precariously on a roadside wall high above a sheer drop. Tilt down drop - it is quite some distance. Albert is climbing into his flying machine. C/U the dare devil pilot wearing a crash helmet and sitting in the cockpit. The plane is pushed off the wall. It falls to take flight and crashes down the wall of the drop - the wings are smashed off and people at the bottom run to assist him. The voiceover says "O La La - he has, as the English say, been and gone and done it." He is dragged from the wreckage with (according to the voiceover) 'only bruises'. He is helped out, he looks very shaken. He waves to the camera. C/U of the wreckage of the crash proof plane. The voiceover commends Albert for his 'guts'. (Not sure if there is a link with the story of the same name in 32/29 which is missing) 90,000 historic films, all SEARCHABLE on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/britishpathe Join us on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/britishpathe Tweet us @britishpathe FILM ID:681.14