Caracas - The second airline crash in less than a week has confirmed investigators worst fears: Fastening your seat belt securely and putting your seat back and tray table back to their full upright position isn't going to help you whatsoever if the plane you're riding in augers into the ground at 400 m.p.h. Previously, fatalities in airline crashes were suspected of being those passengers who ignored safety briefings and didn't bother to notice the location of the closest emergency exit.
According to Greg Gray, of the National Transportation Safety Board, "When that rhythmic, throbbing sound of the engines quits, it's a bad sign. The pilot or co-pilot gasping for air and turning blue is another warning sign. Normally stoic flight attendants breaking down in tears is a very serious sign. At that point, I'd forget about my tray table and start scribbling a note to loved ones. Try and stuff it somewhere it won't be destroyed by the fire, but will still be found. Like up your nose."
Acknowledges Gray, "Cinching your seat belt firmly , well, all that really does is help investigators identify the bodies. If you know you're on a flight that's going down, you can mess with crash investigators by swapping seats, or wallets, with someone around you. But that seat belt isn't going to save your life, no way. Anyone whose seen whats left after a plane hits the ground, well, seat 26A is usually found somewhere up around row 4, smashed into the back of seat 25A with human remains imbetween.
According to Gray, "Last second text messages and cellphone calls by doomed passengers can really help investigators. Flight 93, for example, we knew was being hijacked because passengers disobeyed the warning against using cellphones in flight. The NTSB is currently setting up an 800# for doomed passengers to relay final messages to loved ones."
"Yeah, yeah, says Gray," We've all heard about bracing for impact. The only thing that position is going to do is make your neck snap quickly and painlessly when your seat plows into the one right in front of it. You might as well pucker up and kiss your patootie goodby. It's kind of like "Duck and Cover" when someone uses nuclear ammo. It's not going to change the outcome."