How do I survive a plane crash?
Ideally, go on a nonstop flight to cut the chances of crashing. Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants from natural fibers. Avoid easy maintenance polyester and nylon: most synthetic materials which are not specifically treated for fire resistance melt at fairly low temperatures (300 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit) If you have anti-roller brakes don’ Do not carry stuff with you if you can’t keep it in the carrying luggage. Be prepared for two strikes: a water strike and an aircraft hit by water hit.
How Not to Crash an Airplane
When you enter flight school and start to anticipate those hands-on flight lessons, that’s really the exciting part of the program. We all know that classroom learning and technical knowledge are important. You really cannot expect to be a pilot without knowledge of aerodynamics and the technical theory about aircraft and how they work both in flight and during take-off and landing.
But it is when you get in the pilot’s seat and take the controls of an airplane that things get exciting. The FAA requires that you get 40-50 hours of airtime actually flying an airplane and getting in-flight instruction from a certified pilot before you are qualified to test for a pilot’s license. This makes sense. After all, flying an airplane is a mechanical and physical skill. Along with the knowledge of how to read the instruments, how the plane works, and the relationship between the craft and the atmosphere, there is a certain amount of “seat of the pants” knowledge that can only come from handling an airplane up in the air, where you wanted to be all along.
There are a lot of aspects to flying to cover during your time in the air with your instructor. The take-off takes some getting used to and you have to learn to carry this part of the flight off safely and in cooperation with the tower and other aircraft in the area. When in the air, finding your altitude and dealing with different situations that come up while flying can really only be taught when they happen. And landing the airplane is an area of particular focus because that is where there is the biggest potential for error which can be catastrophic.
One area of flying that must be part of your training that maybe wasn’t part of your thoughts when you daydreamed of becoming a pilot is disaster recovery. You know that when you drive a car, there are dozens of “situations” you might get into that require that you make corrections or have the wherewithal to handle a crisis situation and get through it with as little damage and injury as possible. While flying an airplane does not put you in the same kind of proximity of other aircraft as driving does, you have more dimensions to flying (up and down) as well as wind, weather and airborne hazards to be concerned with. In addition, you may face equipment malfunction while in the air and you must have some knowledge and experience in how to handle this kind of crisis to get through it alive.
If your flight training doesn’t include crisis training, you should get it at all costs before you even consider taking other people up in your airplane and you are responsible for their lives. You should have an instructor who will intentionally cut the engines and teach you how to handle the aircraft without the aid of power and to glide it safely to the ground. You should also get what they call “spin” training which is what you will need if you suddenly find the aircraft spiraling to the ground “spinning” while you frantically try to figure out how to pull out and save your life and the airplane as well.
This part of your training will be a bit frightening. But your instructor will be able to put you into the situations you need to understand and talk you through them so you have the knowledge you need to recover from disasters if they happen to you while flying. You will be glad you are prepared even if you never experience problems flying and it will give you the self-confidence to know that you were taught how to respond to a crisis rather than having to figure it out when it happens.
How do I prevent plane crashes?
Many people are working to prevent plane crashes, and their efforts are paying off. But it’s a lot less than you might expect.
In 1995, the airlines canceled more than 200 flights every day. After adjusting for seasonal and weather effects, half of the cancellations were due to technical problems. The other half was due to pilot error.
In 1995, the United States had about 5,000 civil aircraft accidents. By 2005, the number had dropped to about 1,400. One of the causes of this improvement is stricter training and testing requirements for pilots.
Pilots have horrible eyesight, so new flight-training programs require them to wear special glasses. These glasses darken the cockpit, making it harder for pilots to get distracted. They also dim the instrument panel, making it easier for pilots to see.
Computerized flight-training systems have also helped. They allow pilots to practice flying routes that differ in altitude, temperature, and density altitude. They reduce the number of time pilots spends flying in formation with other planes, which makes it easier for pilots to concentrate.
Pilots used to receive almost no instruction in meteorology. Now, training manuals include lessons in reading weather maps, using artificial horizons, estimating airspeed, and dealing with turbulence.
Most accidents can be prevented by better training, testing, and the use of technology. But, as with so many problems, the solutions require money. The Federal Aviation Administration spends about $2 billion per year on safety. For much of the past 20 years, Congress has been cutting the FAA’s budget. In 1995, it
The first fatal commercial airline crash was in 1929. Since then, there have been about 40 crashes worldwide, and 2,000 fatalities. The fatality rate is very much worse than the fatality rate of car accidents, although only a tiny fraction of the deaths occur in accidents.
Read the safety card and listen to the flight attendants
Every airplane has some rules about what to do in an emergency. All the rules have something to do with putting your life at risk.
Every rule has a reason. The landing rule, for example, has to do with the fact that landing is the most dangerous part of an airplane flight. But the reasons are less obvious when you’re sitting in the cockpit, so the instructions always start with “Listen to the flight attendant.”
If all the flight attendants were robots, you could ignore the safety card. They’d just repeat everything it says. But they aren’t, so you shouldn’t.
The safety card contains a lot of advice the flight attendants often repeat. They tell you to put on your seat belt, turn off your cell phone, put your tray table up, and so on. Their repetition is designed to make the message memorable, and because the instructions sound harmless, people often ignore what they also say.
The flight attendants also try to explain why the rules are important. They say things like: “Your life is in an airplane, and an airplane is not a place to be careless.” They’ve got a point.
The flight attendants also sometimes remind you: “If you are dumb enough to do something stupid, we’re going to hurt you.” But that’s also true of seatbelts and cell phones, so you probably shouldn’t listen to the flight attendants’ advice about these things either.
People think that because airplanes are very safe, it’s no longer necessary to follow safety procedures. That’s a mistake. Safety procedures exist because they work for you.
Causes of Plane Crashes: How to Prevent Them?
Plane crashes are frightening. The tragedies are all the more terrible because they could have been prevented. So what causes plane crashes?
The underlying causes are complex. They have to do with speed, weight, aerodynamics, safety, aircraft maintenance, navigation, and air traffic control. If we could solve all these problems, we could probably make flying much safer.
And yet, even though planes are safer than they have ever been, accidents still happen. Planes do crash, and when they do, they kill many people.
We can make flying safer, and we should make it safer. But we can’t promise to eliminate all accidents. And, as we have seen, even the safest planes can still crash.
This illustrates a simple principle: we can’t always predict the consequences of our actions.
The causes of plane crashes have generated an enormous amount of speculation, and some of it is based on solid evidence. The rest is pure conjecture.
Let’s start with solid evidence. In 1965, the NTSB published its final report on the TWA 800 crash. It cites four probable causes:
1. The airplane’s fuel system was improperly maintained.
2. The airplane’s air conditioning system was improperly maintained.
3. The TWA 800’s engines were not properly maintained.
4. The airplane’s electrical system was not properly maintained.
Those are the four causes of the crash, and they account for 98% of the NTSB’s findings.
But what do they mean? The NTSB doesn’t say.
Accidents happen. So do plane crashes. More often. And, while we can’t prevent accidents from happening, we can certainly try to prevent plane crashes. And that’s the purpose of this section.
The Takeoff Procedure: What You Need to Do Before Flight
The takeoff procedure goes like this. You park the plane, get out, and stand on the runway. You look at the asphalt, and you see that it’s black with grease. You walk over to the edge and look down, and you see that the asphalt is black with grease. You stand on the runway and think that only crazies climb onto airplanes, and you think that if you were crazy and you were standing here, you wouldn’t climb onto an airplane either.
Then you step off the curb, and your right foot is a little bit raised, and you feel the asphalt, and you think that it’s kind of soft, and you put your left foot down, and you put your right foot down…
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