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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkDazed & Confused | How To

How To Survive an Airline CrashWill that be coach or first-class?
In the unlikely event of a water landing, your seat cushion may be used as a toilet.

If you have a midair collision six miles above earth, it's time to drain that hip flask. Fortunately, plane crashes are rare - only one per every two million U.S. carrier flights - and 94 percent of the passengers in all accidents from '83 to '96 lived. With these tips you too can make like Bill Belichick and walk away from your doomed jets, too.

Take an aisle seat
Tip #1: Take an aisle seat
According to Nora Marshal of the NTSB, you're not more likely to die in any particular part of the plane. But do the math: Sit near an exit and you're first out the door. If you do nothing else, avoid window seats. When the cabin's filling with smoke, do you want to climb over the 600-pound woman in the seat next to you?
Fasten your seat belt
Tip #2: Fasten your seat belt
First make sure you're wearing the damn thing, unless you're curious how Randy Johnson's fastball feels. Then make sure the belt is low and tight across your hips or you'll experience either "seat belt syndrome" (the crush of the belt jellies your internal organs) or "dynamic overshoot" (the momentum slams your body forward).
Assume the position
Tip #3: Assume the position
Brace your arms against the seat in front of you and press your head into them. You don't want your noggin up when snack carts start flying, and you don't want it slamming into the seat back on impact. Don't forget a deity to pray to.
Head for the rear exits
Tip #4: Head for the rear exits
Most people run forward. "There was a crash at LAX several years ago in which 22 people died, mostly of smoke inhalation," recalls Marshall. "One of the survivors saw a bunch of people at the over-wing exits, where the smoke was, so he just turned around and went out a rear exit." Crawl out of the plane and give your planet a hug. You owe us a beer. - John Spalding

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