18 January 2009

Your plane is going down. Should you... a) pray? or b) read the safety card directions?

Some passengers screamed, others tucked their heads between their knees, and several prayed over and over: "Lord, forgive me for my sins." But a man named Josh who was sitting in the exit row did exactly what everyone is supposed to do but few ever do: he pulled out the safety card and read the instructions on how to open the exit door.

US Airways Flight 1549 smacked into the Hudson river the way a speedboat lands after jumping over a wake - with a thud that rattled teeth and nerves and stunned the cabin silent. It was as if everyone was waiting for someone else to shout in pain and no one did.

Then Josh stood up. "Someone tried to pull the door in," another passenger recalled, "and he said, 'No, you've got to throw it out.' He twisted it and threw it out."

This from a long article at The Guardian today detailing the events inside the plane after it splashed into the Hudson River. A must read for those with fears of flying and concerns re panic and everyone-for-himself fights in accident situations.

Chivalrous heroes emerged beside selfish elbow-thrusters in what one survivor described as an "orderly mess" and another called "controlled panic"...

The mother who had to climb over seats holding her nine-month-old son to avoid a stampede and the man who eventually helped them to safety...

23 frequent-flying Bank of America executives returning home after meetings in New York... [and I thought this shopped photo was a joke...]

"Some people were actually gracious enough to let me go by with a child and kind of move my way up."

...in his rush to remove the door he had forgotten to grab a seat cushion - how many hundreds of times had he heard that announcement?

[finally, perhaps this lady's karma was the cause of the crash...] Maryann Bruce, 48, ... said she had survived disasters before, including the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre, where she worked then. "I must have nine lives," she said. "I was vacationing in Honolulu and had to be evacuated for a tsunami. I was skiing in Denver and had an avalanche. I was at the big LA earthquake."

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