Inflight and On-Board Emergencies: How Do I Survive?


“Attention all passengers, Brace for impact”… These are the words no airline passenger ever wants to hear; but if you do hear them what should you do? Even though onboard emergencies hardly ever happen, there is still a possibility that they might occur. Edition 4 of S & A’s guide will tell you what to do to survive these emergencies.

Let’s start with onboard fires. Two types of onboard fires that can occur onboard are a jet fuel fire, and an electrical fire. The way you tell the difference between the two is that a jet fuel fire will generate thick black smoke, while an electrical fire will generate thick white smoke.

According to ¨Explosion Dynamics Laboratory¨, if a fire caused by jet fuel were to occur,  flight attendants primarily use fire extinguishers but fire crews also use a mix of 97% water and 3% aqueous film-forming foam. Now, this would only be used by ground crews in specially equipped fire-fighting vehicles. Firefighters would use a special solution to extinguish it. For the fire extinguisher, you should keep your distance from the blaze and allow the crew to extinguish it. 

On ¨Flight Safety¨ it states, for an electrical fire, you can use a variety of things to put it out, but do NOT ever try to get water from either the bathroom or a water bottle the flight crew has passed out. This will only result in 2 horrible ways. 1, the fire spreads much faster as water conducts electricity, or 2, you get severely electrocuted. Instead, use a fire extinguisher located somewhere on the aircraft, or locate baking soda, or find a heavy fire retardant blanket or anything else that can be used to eliminate all oxygen supplying the fire.

Now let’s move on to the standard plane crashes. If you are alerted to an inevitable crash of you’re aircraft, go into the brace position., advises doing this to adopt a brace position. 

First, you should “sit as far back as possible, Fasten your seat belt and tighten firmly, low across the hips to prevent submarining (when a passenger slides forward under a loosely fitted seat belt). Make sure the seat belt is not twisted. Next, tuck chin onto the chest, Bend forward (‘roll up into a ball’) Third, you are advised to place your head against the seat in front Place hands on top of head Place arms at sides of lower legs or hold lower legs (holding onto the lower legs may provide a more stable position) Fourth you would need to place feet flat on the floor, as far back as possible and if passengers are seated at a bulkhead row or cannot reach the seat in front: bend forward and place hands on top of the head, bend forward and place arms at sides of lower legs or hold lower legs.”


As said in the source ¨Simple flying¨, in the event of a water landing, passengers should first put on the life vest appropriately, (instructions will be provided by a flight attendant at the beginning of each flight). Calmly evacuate the aircraft through the nearest exit. There will most likely be a raft deployed through the exits, these are intended for passengers. If a raft is not available, listen to flight attendants for further instructions.