Here's Exactly How to Survive a Plane Crash, According to a Flight Attendant

According to, most plane crashes are entirely survivable. 

Cheryl Schwartz, a retired flight attendant for United Airlines, answered the question “When an airplane crashes and kills all of its passengers, what specifically causes the people to die?”

Here are a couple of things you can do to survive a crash, according to Schwartz:

  • ACTUALLY locate the nearest emergency exit, on every single plane you step foot on. All 747s are different!
  • Know the correct brace position for each assigned seat. If you have a seat in front of you, use that seat back as a brace to support your head. If you don't have a seat in front of you, bend over your legs and grab behind your knees for support. Everyone should have their seatbelts buckled tightly!
  • Know what to leave behind. For a 90 second evacuation, your carry-on luggage is definitely less important than your survival

Lastly, Schwartz said don’t wait for rescue: “Most crashes are survivable, yet, with survivable crashes, crash scene investigators find passengers without a scratch on them still belted in their seats, dead.”



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