Sunday, March 7, 2010

When the seatbelt sign goes on, it doesn't mean to get up and stretch

One of the things that continues to amaze me as a cabin safety professional is how the general public does not regard the safety precautions that are in place for their own safety.

Per Federal Aviation Regulation 121.317, Passenger information requirements, smoking prohibitions, and additional seat belt requirements states: A certificate holder may operate a nontransport category airplane type certificated after December 31, 1964, that is manufactured before December 20, 1997, if it is equipped with at least one placard that is legible to each person seated in the cabin that states “Fasten Seat Belt,” and if, during any movement on the surface, for each takeoff, for each landing, and at any other time considered necessary by the pilot in command, a crewmember orally instructs the passengers to fasten their seat belts.

I am continually amazed at how when the flight starts to get turbulent, and the crew members are having difficulty walking about the cabin performing their duties, and the captain will turn on the seatbelt sign, it never fails that at least 3-5 people will get up and stretch. They do this as if "HAHA, look at me, I can defy the seatbelt sign". 

Well, here are some reports to show that one should NOT get up out of their seat while the seatbelt sign is on. (well, it is common sense isn't it?)

People were flying around 
Three people were injured due to turbulence 
Seven slightly injured after Qantas plane plummets due to turbulence 
26 passengers injured by turbulence on Continental plane 
 Flight Attendants and passengers injured due to turbulence on Air Canada 

Even when the sign is not on, you should always keep your seatbelt on because you never know when that "Clear Air Turbulence" is going to hit. It may be an extremely smooth flight, you forget that you are flying in a metal tin can and BOOM, you drop 500-1000ft in seconds without any notice.  

Whenever I travel, I keep my seatbelt on just like I do while driving or riding in a car. You never know when another idiot is going to sideswipe you and you could be in a serious accident. Yet, people don't care for not only their own safety, but the safety of those around them. 

Please use common sense and just remain in your seat. Remember that if you do get up and the cabin crew are strapped in their seats, it's probably a good idea to immediately take your seat. They are required to inform you that "Per the FAA, the seatbelt sign is illuminated". Don't just ignore them and do your own thing, it is not just for your safety, but to those around you as well.