How to save lives


2 December 2016


I wrote this post exactly three years ago. The Colombian disaster brought it to mind. Please read it while keeping in mind that there were seven survivors, how many could there have been if the passenger seating was facing to the rear. Of course, in this instance there was no inferno, an important factor -- otherwise what I said remains relevant.


2 December 2013

I RECENTLY WATCHED A BBC TV PROGRAMME ON AIRLINE PASSENGER SAFETY in the event of a crash. A large segment was devoted to describing the correct CRASH POSITION and manikins were used to simulate typical injuries... what was NOT EVEN MENTIONED was a much more simple way to reduce injuries.

IF AN AIRCRAFT BURSTS INTO FLAMES OR IS TOTALLY DESTROYED WHEN it crashes from a great height NOBODY is likely to survive.

BUT IF, as not infrequently happens, THE CRASH OCCURS ON LANDING OR TAKEOFF the impact will be less and it will almost certainly be frontal.

WHY NOT configure the passenger seating so that ALL SEATS FACE TO THE REAR? Then the back of the passenger's seat will arrest the passenger's forward movement and the head-rest prevent whiplash. The impact will be spread over a large area not just the few square centimetres afforded by the conventional safety belt.


There's a snag, to reconfigure the seating of all the world's airlines would be expensive and as it is most airlines have difficulty in achieving the kind of profit to which they aspire.


PERHAPS some airlines could show the way and adopt this practice on a few aircraft. Then they would demonstrate that they REALLY CARE about their passengers; THEN IT MIGHT CATCH ON.

MAYBE AIRLINES MUCH IN THE PUBLIC EYE like Virgin Airways and RyanAir could lead the way. Perhaps international civil aviation authorities could think about this simple safety measure.



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Bill Larkworthy | Reply 03.12.2013 11:49

Yes it is not a new idea but I thought I would like to re-float it when I saw the programme on TV.

Jean Sasson | Reply 02.12.2013 19:54

Yes, I read about this very good idea several years ago -- can't recall the magazine I read it in, but I agree 100%. Seems crazy not to do it!

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