Thursday, July 11, 2013

Airline Crash Safety by Moshe Katz

Airline Crash, Safety
By Moshe Katz, Krav Maga Instructor, Israel


 
Asiana Air Flight 214 Accident in San Francisco - 2013 


OK, I have to speak up. I have said this before but I will say it again.  I just read about the airline crash landing in San Francisco, USA, flight from Korea. By some miracle only two passengers were killed. 


Well, part of it is Miracle and part is airline safety improvements that were made as a result of lessons learned from past disasters. As we say in Israel, "None is as wise as he who has experience."
But there is more, and there is something that upsets me. 

As a very frequent flyer I also see the faults. The flight attendants read the safety regulations, occasionally someone will try to be funny and give a better performance but on the whole they know they are "fulfilling their duty" and no one is listening. 

As one who often listens, sometimes twice per day, I can say that this listening is actually quite worthless.  As a Krav Maga instructor I can say the students, in this case the passengers, MUST try the moves themselves. I do not want to try and put on the breathing mask for the first time when the plane crashes, I want a bit of practice!!  

I do not want my "first time" to be during "real time", I want some training, but this is not allowed. I sit in the exit row and review the instructions, but in the event of a real crash I might get nervous; my nervousness can cost lives!

I want the opportunity to practice a little, and this is not provided, but there is more, much more.

"Evacuation  Airplanes must be evacuated within 90 seconds, a feat that airlines rigorously train flight attendants to achieve."
 
OK, so the flight attendants train but what about the passengers?

Let me tell you about the passengers; the girls are sometimes 80% naked, barefoot (having come on board with flip flops) and wearing a tiny pair of shorts. Unlike the safety recommendations (read a book about airline safety before flying, read it instead of a trashy love novel), they do not wear flame resistant clothing. 


In the event of a real emergency they have 90 seconds to get out. The good books, (My friend IKI Instructor Craig Gray gave me as a gift) teach that the most likely time of an emergency are the first and last 10 minutes of a flight.  DO NOT TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES DURING THIS TIME.
I too waited on line for a long time, I too am anxious to take off my shoes, but I do not! I wait those ten minutes. And 10 minutes before landing I put them back on. In the event of en emergency I am ready to run.

And, I listen to the flight attendants; I know exactly where the nearest exit is. I do not have tons of excess baggage stuffed between my legs (to save the $25 baggage fee) which will go flying all over the place in the event of a crash and create obstacles which will slow us all down and reduce our chances of survival. (yes, this was a run on sentence, deal with it.)   

Yes, I think when the Flight Attendants are getting ready for take off they should make sure all rules are strictly followed. AND, people should be TOLD to wear appropriate clothing, no flip flops, no high heels, no mini skirts, you CANNOT run in that crap!
 
Yes, I come from a place where group security and safety are more important than an individual's right to be an idiot and a danger to the group. Even according to the Original Intent of the US constitution Liberty is limited for the sake of the collective. But we have moved far away from that.

Today all we concerned about is ruffling people's feathers, and the possibility that we might, God forbid, offend someone.

In Israel we are not quite so sensitive. A rabbi I know complained that the tray came down too far and was actually resting on his stomach. The Israeli flight attendant said, "There is no problem with the tray but I do think you need to lose some weight.". 

Get over it!

I think there should be a written exam before anyone should be allowed to board a plane, and then a clothing inspection. I am truly upset when I see some girls dragging five pieces of hand luggage on the plane (cleverly disguised as, hand luggage, lap top bag, pocket book, shopping bag, make up kit, duty free etc…)  

The flight attendants train hard to get us off the plane in 90 seconds, now it is OUR turn to also train hard and do our share and take our share of the responsibility. Or else,…just stay home.   

By Moshe Katz - IKI Head Instructor - Israel    

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