Friday, January 16, 2009

Be careful when exiting out of a water landed plane

The Hudson river plane landing ended up okay, with no casualties, which is pretty surprising. A similar event with a Ethiopian Airline crash (after hijack and running out of fuel) had a pretty disastrous end for a lot of the passengers. I watched a National geographic feature where the Pilot of that Ethiopian airliner was mentioning that the reason for many of the casualties was the people ended up inflating their life jackets while they were still in the aircraft (check around middle of the video), which would just lead you to the top of the underwater aircraft and not to safety. The right thing to do is to inflate them after you are out of the aircraft and have a clear path to the surface of the water.

Clearly a plane with a hijack and a fuel-run-out would be under-prepared to explain all this to its passengers and the Hudson event should have been better, but initial reports suggest that the crash happened pretty quickly and hence people wouldn't have known.

I think the key reason why there were no casualties is that the plane pretty much managed to stay afloat and hence people didn't get into water. I saw at least a few snaps showing them waiting on the water slide to be rescued.

I promise to write more as I read up further.

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