Surviving a plane crash

In today’s Straight Dope Classic , Cecil says, "Now the recorders are put in the tail section so that, assuming your typical crashing plane goes in nose first, the forward part of the airframe absorbs most of the impact.

“Sitting back there won’t help you, though. When you mix stuff in the Cuisinart, you think it matters which end of the banana went in last?”

Actually, Popular Mechanics examined 36 years’ worth of NTSB crash reports and reached the conclusion that it is safer in the back of the plane.

In First/Business Class, your overall odds of survival are 49%. Moving to the sections ahead of and over the wing, your odds go up to 56%. The rear cabin of the plane has an overall survival rate of 69%.

I want my seat next to the flight data recorder.

You’ll note that nearly all of the crashes mentioned were takeoff or landing crashes at relatively slow speeds, where the plane remained at least partly intact. If you auger into a mountain at 650 MPH it’s not going to matter.

But, since the majority of US crashes seem to occur near takeoff or landing, it may be worth it.

I was just coming here to post the same link.

My problem has always been that the back is also the shakiest, which doesn’t help my fear/vertigo.

So I can either be safe, or I can have a settled stomach.

In fact, you can do both: No matter where you sit, a scheduled airline flight is a very safe way to travel.

Yes indeed. Omoikane should have said ‘safest’.

I wonder how long before the airlines can tweak the statistics to claim you are safer on a plane than sitting in your living room. Don’t tell them to figure in asteroid statistics.