CRASH SURVIVAL AND SAFETY
(In case you wish you'd taken
THE MOST IMPORTANT
ACCIDENT-FREE HOUR, IS THE NEXT HOUR FLOWN (OR DRIVEN OR WALKED)
by Brig. Gen. Wm W. Spruance
B/Gen. W.W. Spruance Bio.
1. Always use the CHECK LIST: No matter
how well you know your procedures, if you are distracted, you will omit critical
2. Always FASTEN SEAT BELT & HARNESS when
you sit down, no exceptions.
a. You'll be a missile, and go through the windshield,
without the belt fastened.
b. Charge kids $1 for forgetting to buckle up. You forget,
you pay them.
c. Never make any exceptions, so you'll be reminded
d. Fasten harness snugly. A loose harness may fail and injure
or kill you.
e. Always locate & touch belt release button & door handle to
be ready to get out
f. Locate exits & plan escape routes in hotels, theaters,
busses, aircraft, etc.
3. PRACTICE AIRCRAFT EGRESS until it's
automatic; don't rely on help getting out a. Think through & pre-plan how to get
out. Count rows to nearest exit. b. You'll have enough unanticipated problems;
but DON'T PANIC!
4. HEADREST UP, to prevent breaking neck
as head whip-lashes over seat back. a. Harness stretches, then slings your upper
torso back, and breaks your neck. b. Car Headrest up for being rear-ended &
slide body down if seat has no headrest
5. Loose objects become LETHAL MISSILES AT THE
a. Any hard thing behind you, if not tied down, can kill you
at 15 mph impact.
b. Kids not belted in the back seat, can kill you en route to
6. PRE-POSITION YOUR BODY where it
will be after the impact to avoid fractures.
a. Legs and Arms will swing forward, so pre-position
b. Head snaps forward over the harness, so pre-position
7. WHEN CLOTHING IS ON FIRE, DON'T RUN,
which is like fanning the fire.
a. Smother fire with a coat, or wrap up in a blanket [or a
8. When flying, WEAR BOOTS or FUNCTIONAL SHOES
and avoid losing them;
a. Shoeless feet get burns, blisters, splinters, metal
gashes, cuts & frostbite.
b. Spike heels will catch on airline slide, she'll
tumble & break her neck.
c. [Without Boots you will land barefooted after ejecting
from military aircraft]
9. Not wearing GLOVES is like having no
hands in case of fire.
10. More CLOTHING gives better protection against
fire & the outside elements.
a. Wear Slacks or Pantsuits. Skirts fly up on airline slides
with bad mat burn.
b. No Shorts or Skirts. Long Pants are a must to prevent bare
c. Long sleeves, down or ready to roll down, NO SHORT SLEEVES
d. Jacket on or ready to put on for fire insulation & warmth
on the ground.
e. Pure synthetics next to your skin, will melt into your
11. Avoid LUNG DAMAGE from inhaling fire,
hot gasses, or raw fuel.
a. Hold your breath as long as possible.
b. Cover nose & mouth with a handkerchief, wet cloth, pillow,
or use a smoke mask
c. Carry Swimmer's Goggles to protect your eyes and improve
vision in smoke.
12. Avoid HELMET loss on impact, (if
wearing one), and resultant head injury:
a. Chin & Nape Straps must be snug on aircraft or motorcycle
13. VISOR DOWN to avoid terrifying
blindness, injury, or. death from:
a. Bird strikes, or flying fragments (bugs or
gravel on motorcycles)
b. Forward impact of slamming your bare face into panel
of auto or aircraft.
14. TAPE STYROFOAM PADDING over anything
sharp or hard you'd be thrown against.
15. Always carry in your pocket a CELLULAR
PHONE Call 911. Give your location.
a. With a good hand-held GPS, rescue can home in on your
b. Call Home, tell them you will be late. Reduce their worry
BE PREPARED FOR THE WORST & PLEASANTLY SURPRISED IF YOU
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University:
Daytona Beach, FL, 32114 800 222 ERAU; AFROTC 904 226-6880
Prescott, Arizona, 86301 800 888-ERAU, AFROTC 520 708-3862
Extended Campus (800 359-3728)
Tobyhanna [COM 717 895-6543; DSN 795-6543]
Military: Go to:
and type in "Crash Survival".
Nonmilitary: Go to:
and type in "Crash Survival".
Gen. Spruance Home page
Flight Safety Speech Notes
Will you Survive?
Crash Survival Slide Show
Flight Safety Texas Style