Your Ultimate Guide to Airplane Emergency Landing Tips: Be Prepared, Stay Safe!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Airplane Emergency Landing Tips: Be Prepared, Stay Safe!Flying is one of the safest modes of travel out there, but let’s face it – sometimes things can go awry. And when they do, the fear of the unknown can amplify anxiety. The very thought of an airplane emergency landing might make your heart race faster than a cheetah. But what if you had the confidence that came from knowledge and preparedness?


  • Every day, approximately 100 emergency landings happen in the U.S, mostly due to mechanical issues, medical emergencies, and weather-related problems.
  • Being calm, following flight crew instructions, and knowing your emergency exits can significantly increase survival rates during an emergency landing.
  • By understanding how to brace and evacuate, you can protect yourself and your fellow passengers during an emergency.

Also check out: Airplane layover tips

Unveiling the Mysteries of Airplane Emergency Landings

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), every day sees around 100 emergency landings in the United States. But, hold your horses before you cancel your flight tickets! Most of these situations arise due to non-critical issues like mechanical snags, medical emergencies, or weather-related problems.

In fact, in 2019, there were only 86 aviation accidents out of countless flights, resulting in 257 fatalities. To put it into perspective, you are much more likely to be involved in a car accident than a plane crash. Yet, as the old saying goes, “forewarned is forearmed.”

Wisdom From the Flight Deck: A Pilot’s Perspective

Our flying gurus, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and Patrick Smith, emphasize the importance of remaining calm during an emergency. “The most important thing during an emergency landing is to remain calm and follow the instructions of the flight crew“, says Sully, the hero of the “Miracle on the Hudson” emergency landing.

Meanwhile, Patrick Smith, airline pilot and author of “Cockpit Confidential”, reiterates the importance of preparedness.The best way to survive an emergency landing is to be prepared. Know where the emergency exits are located, listen to the safety briefing, and review the safety card in your seat pocket.”

Surviving an Emergency Landing: Your Safety Checklist

Here’s a ready reckoner to help you prepare for the improbable event of an emergency landing:

  1. Know Your Exits: Look around and locate the nearest exit. Remember, it might be behind you.
  2. Listen to the Safety Briefing: Yes, it’s tempting to doze off or immerse yourself in the in-flight movie. But this briefing is vital.
  3. Review the Safety Card: It’s there for a reason, so use it.
  4. Brace, Brace, Brace: Understand the brace position for your seat – it can dramatically increase your chances of surviving an impact.
  5. Stay Calm: Easier said than done, right? But keeping your wits about you is crucial. Panic can cloud your judgment and slow your response time.
  6. Follow Instructions: Trust the flight crew. They are trained to handle emergencies and can guide you to safety.
  7. Evacuate Smartly: If evacuation is necessary, leave your luggage. It can impede evacuation and risk lives.

Also check out: Airplane cabin cleanliness

Uncommon Scenarios and Insider Tips

While the most common causes for emergency landings are mechanical issues, medical emergencies, and weather-related problems, there are other uncommon scenarios that you might not have heard of. It’s time to delve into the arcane world of aviation!

1. Fumes in the Cabin

One of the more uncommon reasons for an emergency landing is when fumes are detected in the cabin. While it’s a scary thought, rest assured that the crew is trained to handle such situations, with immediate landing being the go-to solution. Knowing this can put your mind at ease!

2. Bird Strikes

Bird strikes are more common than you think. These feathery missiles can cause significant damage, even leading to engine failure. But don’t fret! Planes can still fly safely with one engine, and pilots are trained for such situations.

3. Rapid Decompression

Yes, we’ve all seen that scene in the movies where the plane window shatters, leading to rapid decompression. But guess what? It’s incredibly rare in real life. In case it does happen, remember to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.

A Closer Look at Bird Strikes: Unfolding the Story

A bird strike might sound like something out of a Hitchcock movie, but it’s a genuine concern in the aviation world. When a bird (or often a flock of them) collides with an aircraft, particularly during take-off or landing, it can cause damage. Even though these instances are rare, they could lead to engine failure. It’s important to remember, though, that pilots undergo rigorous training to handle such situations, so the probability of a bird strike leading to an emergency landing remains extremely low.

Overcoming Fear: An Insider’s TipOvercoming Fear: An Insider's Tip

One of the best ways to overcome the fear of flying, including worries about emergency landings, is to understand the facts and discard the myths. Fear often stems from uncertainty and misunderstanding. Knowing what to expect and being mentally prepared can alleviate much of this anxiety.

As Patrick Smith suggests, “The best way to survive an emergency landing is to be prepared. Know where the emergency exits are located, listen to the safety briefing, and review the safety card in your seat pocket.” Remember, the goal is to travel, explore, and create beautiful memories, so don’t let fear stand in your way!

Take a Deep Breath: You’re Ready to Fly

In the rare event of an emergency landing, you’re now equipped with all the information and tips you need to stay calm and react smartly. Remember, flying is one of the safest forms of travel, and emergencies are infrequent. So pack your bags, fasten your seatbelt, and get ready for an unforgettable journey. 

Wrapping Up: Fly Safe!

No one boards a plane expecting to make an emergency landing. But with these handy airplane emergency landing tips, you are now armed with the knowledge to handle the unexpected. Remember, the key to survival is staying calm, being prepared, and following the instructions of the flight crew. The world is a fascinating place, and we should never let fear stop us from exploring it! So buckle up, sit back, and enjoy your flight.


1. How common are airplane emergency landings?

While the thought might be intimidating, emergency landings are relatively rare. The FAA reports about 100 emergency landings per day in the U.S, but these are often due to minor issues that do not pose a significant safety risk.

2. What are the most common reasons for emergency landings?

Emergency landings most commonly occur due to mechanical issues, medical emergencies onboard, or weather-related problems.

3. How can I prepare myself for a potential emergency landing?

Stay calm, know your nearest exits, pay attention to the safety briefing, review the safety card, learn the brace position for your seat, follow the crew’s instructions, and evacuate smartly, leaving behind your luggage.

4. What does the brace position do?

The brace position reduces the risk of injury during an impact by positioning the body (particularly the head) against the seat in front, minimizing movement.

5. Why should I leave my luggage behind during an evacuation?

Luggage can impede the evacuation process, slow down others, and even cause injury. The focus during an evacuation should be to exit the plane as quickly and safely as possible.

6. What’s the most important thing to remember during an emergency landing?

Staying calm and following the crew’s instructions are the most crucial aspects during an emergency landing.

7. What are some uncommon reasons for an emergency landing?

Some uncommon reasons include fumes in the cabin, bird strikes, and rapid decompression. But don’t worry – pilots and crew are trained to handle such situations safely.

8. What should I do if there’s rapid decompression on the plane?

First, don’t panic. If there’s rapid decompression, oxygen masks will drop from above. Put yours on first before assisting others, even children. Listen to the flight crew’s instructions, and brace yourself for a potential emergency landing.

9. Can a plane land safely after a bird strike?

Yes, airplanes can often still fly safely after a bird strike, even if it results in engine failure. Pilots are trained to handle this scenario, so while it might be a bit scary, rest assured that they are working to get you on the ground safely.

10. Can understanding the facts really help me overcome my fear of flying?

Absolutely! Fear often stems from the unknown. By learning about the facts and understanding how things work, you can alleviate many of your fears. Knowing that emergencies are rare and that the crew is highly trained to handle them can bring comfort.

11. What should I focus on during an emergency landing?

Stay calm, listen to the crew’s instructions, and be ready to react as directed. Remember the key points: brace as instructed, leave your luggage behind, and head for the nearest exit (which might be behind you).

Building Confidence Through Knowledge: The Final Takeaway

The best antidote to fear is knowledge. While the thought of an airplane emergency landing can be nerve-wracking, being prepared can instill a sense of confidence. So, while we can’t predict when emergencies will occur, we can certainly equip ourselves with the right knowledge to handle them if they do. Remember, as Sully so eloquently put it, “The key to a successful emergency landing is staying calm and following instructions.

You should also check out: Airplane safety guidelines


  1. Federal Aviation Administration
  2. Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger

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