Seriously y’all, put on your seatbelts

April 18, 2012

Have you ever woken up from a nap and not known where you were or what’s going on? Yeah, it’s happened to me too. Evidently, it has also happened to pilots…..

The Home Warrior sent me this article yesterday: “Pilot Mistakenly Sends Plane into a Dive.” The title kind of gets you, right? You want to read more and find out what happened, right?? Basically, on a transatlantic flight, the first officer took a nap, which is totally legal and fine. Except when he woke up, he was disoriented, and mistook Venus for an oncoming plane. So naturally he grabbed the controls and sent the plane into a steep dive. Where he almost hit the actual plane that was near them. Oops.

Passengers who didn’t have their seatbelts on were thrown all over the cabin, including several who were sleeping. (Talk about being disoriented after waking up!) In fact, more than a few passengers hit the ceiling. Holy crap.

So there you have it folks. When the flight attendant tells you to fasten your seatbelt when seated just in case, sometimes “just in case” actually happens. There have been many times when I did not have it on, especially when sleeping on a transpacific flight in business class. But no more!! When the Home Warrior and I were discussing this he, the great rule follower, said, “I don’t wear my seatbelt because I’m worried about safety, but because I’m afraid to break the rules.”  Of course, now he is also afraid of turbulence. Hah!

Readers, do you wear your seatbelt even when the “fasten seatbelt” light is off? Have you ever had crazy turbulence on a flight?

  1. Eddie said,

    Always keep mine on when seated. In the rare instances where I have had a row to myself I find a way to connect seatbelts from one seat to another so that I can lay down. Turbulence can come out of nowhere. Better to be safe.

  2. LadyLight said,

    Yes, always. I worked crash test at General Motors when I was a student, so saw first hand what happened when a crash test dummy collided with an immovable object. Planes are going even faster!

    When I can lie down across multiple seats I usually let the belt out all the way, or use multiple belts like Eddie. I’ll bounce around, but at least not up into the ceiling.

  3. Cedarglen said,

    Unless I’m up for what the FAA calls ‘physiological needs,’ I’ve always got some belt fastened, even when I get to sleep in thos silly beds up-front. Most flights include more movement than driving a car, and I just feel better with the belt on. No always landing-tight and enough room to move around, but it is ALWAYS on. I feel for the injured folks on that flight, but someplace sone needs to accecpt some *personal* responsibility for preventing injuries. ?Did the FAs not suggest that you keep it fastened? Own your own safety, people. It is better than looking for excuses to sue someone.

  4. Silas Talbot said,

    I feel bad for the first officer. Aviation is an unforgiving profession. You work your whole career for something and one mistake can mess it up entirely. Something tells me he’s not going to be flying long haul anymore…

  5. Deirdre said,

    I’m with Cedarglen: I have my seat belt on at all times unless I’m up for a walk or bio break, or unless I’m trying to get something from underneath the seat in front of me and can’t reach it without.

    Now, when I’m intending to sleep, I do loosen it a bit, but it’s still fastened.

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