The best way to stay safe on board any flight is to always buckle your seat belt!
For most travelers (and even some seasoned frequent fliers), the most ominous aspect of any flight is the possibility of turbulence. As was illustrated by a recent Aeroflot flight, turbulence can occasionally pose a real threat to passengers and airline crew. In this particular instance, approximately 27 passengers experienced varying degrees of injuries (although none were classified as serious or life-threatening). This incident occurred on a Boeing 777-300 en route from Moscow to Bangkok.
While turbulence events like this are extremely rare, it serves as a reminder of what can potentially happen on an airplane. What’s important to recognize is that there were only 27 people injured out of the 313 passengers that were on board that day. Why didn’t the other 286 passengers get hurt? The reason is the same for virtually as it would be for virtually any mode of transportation: because they were wearing their seat belts!
When any of us climbs into a car, the first order of business (for the overwhelming majority of us) is the act of putting on our seat belt. We then keep that safety restraint on until the car is parked at our destination. This habit has been ingrained in us, such that we rarely even give it much thought. And yet on board a commercial airliner, there are many people that do not wear seat belts except for takeoff and landing or when the flight crew requires them to do so. For whatever reason, those individuals choose not to wear a seat belt for most of the flight. Why? Are the lap belts really that uncomfortable? Would you consider this safe to do in your car when you’re headed down the highway at 65 miles per hour? Of course not. So, why wouldn’t you always keep that belt fastened when you’re on an airliner that’s traveling at over 500 miles per hour?
…as a commercial pilot for many, many years, when I’m on a plane, I keep that seat belt fastened throughout the entire flight.
Every time a news story comes out about passengers getting hurt due to turbulence, those injuries are almost exclusively attributed to the individuals not wearing seat belts. If there’s one thing that can keep you safe and free from harm on board an airliner, it’s wearing your seat belt the entire time that you are seated in your seat. Trust me, as a commercial pilot for many, many years, when I’m on a plane (whether I’m in the cockpit or a passenger in the cabin), I keep that seat belt fastened throughout the entire flight. It may not seem like a seat belt could make much of a difference, but that lap belt can keep you safe through just about any amount of turbulence. As long as you stay buckled up, you and the plane should be able to safely handle just about anything that mother nature throws at you. Please, please remember to buckle up and keep that seat belt on anytime that you are in your seat. It really is for your safety!