Aircraft safety is a hotly debated topic, but a commercial pilot wants to set the record straight once and for all.
Speaking anonymously to DailyMail.com, the flight expert, who has been flying for 10 years and currently works for one of the world’s biggest airlines, touches on some of the most debated safety issues.
From the best type of footwear to wear to which seat is safest, the frequent flyer offers his verdict on a variety of hot topics.
Scroll down to learn how you can make your next plane trip less dangerous.
Wear shoes you can move quickly in
When choosing flight shoes, the pilot recommends selecting ‘something with the worst case scenario in the back of your mind’
Most people will wear shoes that are comfortable, but some people will want to dress up a bit with heels or dressy shoes. However, when choosing your flight shoes, I would recommend selecting something with the worst case scenario in the back of your mind. You want to wear a comfortable shoe in which you can move quickly and walk distances in an emergency. Airplane floors aren’t always the cleanest, so covered shoes are always better, too.
The brace position could save your life
While there are rumors that the brace position is designed to kill passengers faster, this is not true. As described by the United States Federal Aviation Administration, this position is designed to limit the impact on your body in the event of a collision.
Knowing this as a motor skill could save your life. It’s good to practice it if you can.
Seats towards the back of the plane are the safest.
When it comes to the safest place to sit on the plane, I would opt for a seat in the last two-thirds of the plane. This is because this area is the strongest part of the aircraft and therefore most likely to survive an impact.
ALWAYS buckle up during turbulence
During turbulence, you must have your seat belt on. Ideally, you should have fastened your seatbelt before it starts. I have seen videos of people not wearing proper seat belts hitting their heads on the roofs of airplanes. Lights and air conditioning ports can be very painful! If the turbulence is of the more severe variety, then it’s best to dump hot drinks on the ground and stow all loose items in the front seat pocket. Anything loose can become a missile and cause serious injury.
The seats in the last two thirds of the plane are the safest, reveals the pilot
You should only have a glass of water with each alcoholic drink, says flight professional
Do not squeeze the bags in the bin as they could fall out.
Put anything loose in a bag. If you have duty-free items, such as bottles of alcohol, be sure to place them safely under a bag in the overhead compartment. It’s surprisingly common for people to break bones on crude bottles coming out of lockers. Also, never try squeeze the bags into the gaps as they will fly out if the container opens and this sometimes happens on landing.
Drink a glass of water with every alcoholic drink.
Due to the higher altitude while flying, you have lower levels of oxygen in your blood. This means that you will find yourself intoxicated much more easily. You should only have one glass of water with each alcoholic drink. Dehydration will also speed up this process and a lack of humidity on the plane causes dehydration.
Beware of sharp edges in the toilet.
Toilet areas on airplanes are pretty gross, and urine is often seen on the floor. They are really unsanitary places so always operate with caution! Even with mild turbulence, it’s best to avoid going to the bathroom altogether. Cubicles often have sharp corners, with protruding countertops and shelves. If the plane moves up and down, there is nothing to secure it and you could take a nasty hit.
The pilot says he has seen videos of people not wearing proper seat belts hitting their heads on the roofs of planes during turbulence.
“Never try to squeeze the bags into the gaps, as they will fly out if the bin is opened.”
Avoid the kitchen area as much as possible
Another place on the plane to stay out of as much as possible is the kitchen. The cooking area is full of sharp objects, from knives to bottle openers, and if not properly secured, they become instant hazards. Boiled water for hot drinks and hot foods presents another risk. In more severe cases of turbulence I have also seen wine bottles break. It can be quite complicated.
Lightning is generally not a problem
While it may seem scary to watch streaks of light streaking across the sky from your airplane seat, 99.999999 percent of the time lightning isn’t a problem. The plane will simply dissipate the lighting through its skin. It usually only requires a minor on-site inspection after the event. However, recently some modern carbon fiber composites used to build aircraft have had significant problems with lightning strikes. There have been cases where lightning has caused carbon to delaminate.