They don’t happen often, but plane accidents do happen.
Just this week, three people died when a passenger jet with 183 people on board skidded off the runway, broke into three pieces and burst into flames due to a “rough landing” at an Istanbul airport.
While incidents like these are rare, experts have revealed two main ways you can improve your chances of survival if tragedy does strike, The Sun reports.
SITTING IN THE BACK OF THE PLANE
A seat at the back of the plane, while not popular with travellers who want to get off the plane quickly, could be the safest place to sit.
According to a 2015 study, seats in the middle of the cabin had the highest fatality rate at 39 per cent, followed by a 38 per cent fatality rate in the front.
Seats at the back of the cabin had the lowest fatality rate at 32 per cent.
The Aviation Safety Network analysed 65 plane crashes and found seats in the back to be safest in over half of the incidents, based on survival rates.
Harro Ranter chief executive of the Aviation Safety Network, told the Express: “I cannot think of anything that would make sitting upfront safer (and) in an actual accident, best chances of survival are usually in the rear.”
A middle seat at the back of a plane was found to be the safest, with a 28 per cent mortality rate – compared to the worst, an aisle seat in the middle of the cabin, which has a mortality rate of 44 per cent.
WEARING THE RIGHT CLOTHES
What you wear can also make a difference.
One of the most important things to wear on a plane are your shoes, and you should avoid taking them off when boarding.
A study by Boeing found that half of plane crashes happen during takeoff and landing.
After a crash, fire or broken glass could obstruct the aisle, making it hard to escape barefoot.
Christine Negroni, plane crash expert and author of The Crash Detectives: Investigating The World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, told Sun Online Travel that there were a lot of things passengers could do to help themselves after a crash.
“One of the best things people can do is put their shoes on for takeoff and landing,” she said. “This is still not required by many airlines and I think it ought to be.
“When people are getting off a plane in a crash, there can be fire as well as debris, it could be cold and wet. You could wind up stepping on a big shard of aluminium.”
Flammable materials are also a no-no, along with baggy clothing. Passengers should opt for cotton or wool clothing over polyester or nylon, as well as tighter trousers over loose dresses.
“In terms of clothing, anything not too free flowing is a good idea,” Ms Negroni said.
“In the case of this flight, it would have been good to be wearing jeans, but you obviously don’t want to go on every flight dressed for combat.
“Mainly err on the side of caution. Pick sneakers over high heels, pick natural fibres over synthetic, and take tight-fitting clothes over loose-fitting.”
A Boeing pilot advised passengers to always remove sharp objects from your pockets and to count the seats to the nearest emergency exit during a plane crash.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission