Top 5 Surviving a Plane Crash Facts

Script written by Chris Masson Tray tables stowed, seats uncomfortably upright, iPod confiscated– I think we're ready for takeoff. Hope nothing bad happens. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In today's instalment, we're sifting through the wreckage to count down the 5 most incredible facts about surviving a plane crash. Got an idea for WMFacts? Head over to WatchMojo.comsuggest to submit your suggestions!

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Written by Chris Masson

Top5 Facts: Surviving A Plane Crash

Tray tables stowed, seats uncomfortably upright, iPod confiscated– I think we’re ready for takeoff. Hope nothing bad happens. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment, we’re sifting through the wreckage to count down the 5 most incredible facts about surviving a plane crash.

#5: You Probably Won’t Die. Unless Everyone Else Does.

First of all, the chances of you being killed in an airplane crash on a flight operated by one of the top 39 airlines is 1 in 19.8 million, according to And even if you wanted to save a few bucks and booked a flight on one of the 39 worst airlines, your odds are still only 1 in 2 million. So, relax. But what if it does crash? If the planes ditches, meaning it makes a controlled emergency landing on water, you’ve got a 53% chance of surviving. If, however, you’re in a crash so bad that at least 10 people die, your odds are not great: you’ve got a roughly 24% chance of being one of the lucky few who survive.

#4: Takeoff and Landing Are The Most Dangerous Times

The majority of crashes happen during Plus 3/Minus 8. That’s aviation talk for the first 3 minutes after takeoff and the last 8 minutes before landing. Experts say that during those times it’s a good idea to stay awake, alert, and sober. Keep your shoes–preferably not high heels– on, and take a second think through your action plan in case of a crash. Well, we got into the air great, and we’re scheduled to land in 9 minutes from now, so– Uh-oh.

#3: If It Doesn’t Kill You, It Might Make You Stronger

Ok, looks like we’re in a tight spot here. But don’t worry! If you do survive this, you’ll be stronger for it. According to a study presented by the American Psychological Association, those who have survived a plane crash wind up being healthier psychologically than frequent flyers who have never been in a crash. Those who reported feeling some measure of control during the accident, members of the flight crew, for example, were the best off. It was a rather small study, mind you, but these findings do line up with other research that said shipwreck survivors experienced strong positive changes in their outlook on life and more self-esteem. So, look on the bright side!

#2: One Kid Survived Two Plane Crashes

So as the plane is plummeting out of the sky, just try to remember Austin Hatch. In 2003, at 8 years old, he survived a plane crash that tragically killed his mother and both his siblings. A few years goes by, Austin recovers, works his ass off on the basketball court, and in 2011, gets offered a scholarship to play ball at the University of Michigan. Ten days later, on the same route as the first time, his plane crashes once again, this time killing his father and stepmother. It leaves him in a coma for 6 weeks, and then wheelchair-bound. The university acts super classy and lets him delay his scholarship until he recovers, and finally, in 2014, he made his college basketball debut. And here you were, freaking out because this is your first crash.

#1: Move Your Ass, or You’re Toast

Hey! You made it to the ground! You’re not safe yet. Often when a plane crash-lands, rather than people jumping out of their seats and rushing towards the exits, they sit there like sheeple, waiting for permission to save their own lives. The problem with waiting is, one, flight attendants are often rendered incapacitated by the crash, and two, fire can spread very quickly; experts say it takes about 90 seconds for fire to burn through the fuselage. Nevertheless, survivors often insanely take time to grab their carry on luggage out of the overhead bins before fleeing the plane. I know I’d be out the door in nothing flat; those giant emergency slides always looked wicked fun.

So, what do you think of these facts? Have you ever dreamed emergency-landing a plane? For more survive-anything Top 10s and crash-in-the-first-three-minutes Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to

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