Chaos and Terror on Southwest Airlines

While plane accidents, like the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, have both captivated and horrified the world in recent years, the United States hadn’t seen a plane fatality in almost ten years—until yesterday.

Chaos and Terror on Southwest Airlines Flight

With 144 passengers and five crew members aboard, a Boeing 737 with Southwest Airlines was on its way from New York to Dallas when something broke apart in the plane’s engine. This caused pieces of the engine to explode and pierce through the plane. The impact ripped a hole in the side of the plane, causing rapid depressurization. One passenger was reportedly almost sucked out of the plane.

Thanks to the quick thinking of the pilot, a massive loss of life was miraculously avoided. Though the plane dropped from around 31,684 feet to just 10,000 feet in around five minutes, the pilot managed to stay calm and controlled during the emergency, and brought the plane down for a turbulent but safe emergency landing at an airport in Philadelphia. The pilot is being rightfully praised for her calmness and swift actions.

Disaster Averted

Despite the stunning landing, there was still one fatality. The deceased woman was the passenger who was almost sucked out of the plane, according to reports. While this woman’s death is an undeniable tragedy, the fact that the pilot managed to avoid a crash is still an impressive relief.

If you’re afraid of plane accidents, just reading this blog on Southwest Airlines incident is probably making you feel a little anxious. But despite this incident, you probably don’t have to worry. Your chances of dying in a crash aboard a commercial aircraft are about 1 in 10,769,230. This means that you could fly on the same flight from Los Angeles to Hong Kong every day for the next 11,146 years without experiencing a fatal accident. But to help you achieve some peace of mind, here are some tips to remember before your next commercial flight.

Plane Safety Tips for Peace of Mind

  • Pay attention to the preflight briefing. This is when a pilot or flight attendant goes over what to do in case of an emergency. They will point out emergency exits, and go over how to safely evacuate the plane. If you are sitting in the seat nearest the emergency exit, but don’t feel like you would be strong or calm enough to open the emergency exit if need be (or if you just don’t want that responsibility) you can ask the flight attendant to move you to a different seat. A manual in the pocket of your seat will also inform you of proper crash positions.
  • Don’t put anything too heavy in the overheard storage bin. If the plane hits turbulence, a heavy bag could fall and seriously injury you or another passenger. Secure your overheard bags. If your bag is very heavy, consider checking it with the rest of your luggage. Stick to a smaller carry-on bag for necessities.
  • Don’t bring any hazardous material. This one seems pretty obvious. Don’t bring anything explosive or flammable. Don’t bring any firearms, knives, or other dangerous items. Read up on what’s banned from airlines before your trip. Even common items, like batteries, are hazardous when flying.
  • Pay attention to your drinks.  If you go for in-flight alcoholic options, remember that the pressurized air will make alcohol affect you differently. If you are going to drink, do so in moderation, so that you can still be alert and functional in case of emergency.
  • Fly nonstop.  Find a route that will take you to your destination without layovers. Most accidents occur during takeoffs and landings, so picking a nonstop flight will decrease the chances of an accident

Safe Travels!


The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

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