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Home / Travel / Flight secrets: How inflating the life jacket on a plane could cause you to drown | Travel News | Travel

Flight secrets: How inflating the life jacket on a plane could cause you to drown | Travel News | Travel

Passengers who regularly fly by commercial plane have learned a number of untold secrets over the years regarding the aviation industry.

From dirty tap water to filthy seat pockets, some of the more disgusting facts have baffled frequent flyers.

A recent thread on Reddit caused a storm after flight attendants explained some mysterious facts that many didn’t realise existed.

One of them was regarding emergency evacuations and the life jacket that is required.

The reason why it shouldn’t be inflated is nothing to do with taking up too much room when escaping.

The reason behind it is actually because it could cause passengers to drown if a plane is submerged.

A Reddit user, who is a flight attendant, explained: “DO NOT inflate your life vest in the case of a crash until you LEAVE the aircraft.

“If the plane goes underwater and you inflated it you’ll drown before you exit.

“People panic and want to inflate it as soon as they put it on but you’re just screwing yourself.”

If the plane fills with water, the passenger who chooses to inflate it will then be unable to get out of the doors as they float to the top of the plane.

Inflating a life jacket beforehand can also make it harder to get through the emergency exits without tearing the life jacket, rendering it useless.

According to TV show Air Crash Investigation, a crash in 1996 revealed what happens when inflating it in the cabin.

Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was hijacked on 23 November, which resulted in a crash landing on the water.

Of the 175 passengers, 125 people died, with an investigation revealing that many perished after inflating their jackets inside and being trapped by rising water.

This is because they were trapped in their seats when the cabin sank into the water and filled with water.

Safety demonstrations are always important to watch, and passengers who don’t watch them are the people that flight attendants have admitted they dislike the most.

Passengers can help themselves in many ways that the safety demonstration does not warn about.

One of those is seat counting between their own and the emergency exit.

This means that during a crash, and the lights go out, it can be easy to escape by knowing how many seats there are to escape.

Escaping from a plane might not always involve walking down the aisles; passengers may be forced to climb over the seats.

Therefore jumping over them and knowing how close the exit is could save a life.


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