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August 28, 2011
How do some people survive a plane crash while others die instantly? It’s a question that plenty of engineers and aviation experts have posed. (See “How to Survive a Plane Crash: 20 Tips.”)
Most recently, National Post has written “How Three Survived the Resolute Bay Plane Crash,” exploring how three people—aged 7, 23, and 48--survived a devastating Canadian plane crash that took 11 lives when First Air Flight 6560, a Boeing 737, went down August 20, 2011, near Resolute, Nunavut.
“There’s always been some debate as to why, when you have mass destruction of an airplane, some people survive and some don’t,” says Greg Feith, a former senior investigator with the United States National Transportation Safety Board.
Following a 2007 study of jet crashes by Popular Mechanics, it was revealed that the back of a plane is the safest place to be seated (survivability rate, 69%), while those in first-class have the highest likelihood of perishing in an aviation accident (survivability rate, 49%).
Of Flight 6560, the National Post reports that, for those who died, “The force of hitting the ground did minor damage to the fuselage, but it was enough to rip the victim’s hearts free from their chests.” On the other hand, for the survivors the plane acted as an airbag would in a car accident, giving them some protection from the impact.
Most investigators have determined that, as Feith says, “A lot of it, you attribute to luck. They happened to be in the right seat, and the environment around them didn’t happen to present any life-threatening injuries.”
Do you think it’s reasonable to think you could survive a plane crash by choosing to sit in the back of a plane?
If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.
Photo courtesy of National Post
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