Pick the rear seats to fly safe

| | Updated on: Nov 14, 2021
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Passengers who pick a seat near the tail of an aeroplane are more likely to survive a crash

According to a study by Popular Mechanics that surveyed every commercial jet crash in the United States since 1971, about 11 of the 20 crashes, rear passengers clearly fared better. Only five accidents favoured those sitting forward. Three were toss-ups, with no particular pattern of survival. In one case, seat positions could not be determined.

According to 14daypilot.com, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) database recorded over a 35-year period, those seated at the rear-end of the aircraft had a 32 per cent fatality rate. The middle third and the front third of the aircraft had a fatality rate of 39 per cent and 38 per cent respectively. The report said the middle seat in the rear of the aircraft had the best position, with just a 28 per cent fatality rate. In fact, the worst part to sit in is actually on the aisle of the middle third of the cabin, as it comes at a 44 per cent fatality rate. The University of Greenwich also released a study that observed that those who are seated nearer to the emergency exits are more likely to survive an incident.

Avoiding infection

However, what is the best seat, in order to avoid getting infected during the pandemic and even after? It is everybody’s favourite seat, the window seat. According to upgradedpoints.com, most aeroplanes that are equipped with HEPA filters have the fresh air flowing up the sides of the cabin, down into the aisle, and then back into the filter, refreshing the entire cabin every two to three minutes. What it means is that if one has a window seat, one will be able to get refreshed air before other passengers. Also, contact with passengers who will be making their way up and down the aisle during the flight will be minimal.

As has been written in these columns before, whether one sits at the far end of an aircraft or has a window seat, flying is still one of the safest modes of transport compared with fatalities due to road accidents. (Source: Popular Mechanics; 14daypilot.com; upgradespoint.com).

Published on November 14, 2021

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