If your flight crashes, leave the carry on

An airline flight in Philadelphia came to a sudden stop on its takeoff roll in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon when its nose gear collapsed. The slides were activated and people evacuated.

This photo made the rounds on Twitter last evening. Look closely. The passengers paused their evacuation long enough to grab their carry on.

Passengers evacuate US Airways Flight 1702 after the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m., after a tire on the plane’s front landing gear blew out, Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Philadelphia. The Airbus A320 jet, bound for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. All were rescheduled on departing flights Thursday night, she said. (AP Photo/Dennis Fee)
  • Thomas Mercier

    Who can blame them? Airports are boring places to be without one’s iPads and other necessities. And we all know Americans’ first priority is their personal comfort (even if it means a disregard for safety).

  • Kassie

    Is it possible they were told to take their carry on?

  • Fred Nauer

    I taught at Northwest before the merger. One of the courses had a case study of a 747 nose gear collapse to remind the pilots I was teaching to not use the aft slides because the angle was too steep. The kicker of the story was, before the Captain left the plane he checked the cabin, just in case. He found a child sitting in one of the seats. They left the plane by the slide. He found the parents outside with all their carry-ons.

    Sorry I thought this picture was going next to my name!

    • Fred, if you click on where your avatar goes and then click the “edit profile” link, you’ll see a link to add a picture in that spot.

      Re: the slides. It kind of looks like they’re sliding right into the trailing smoke of that engine, doesn’t it? Or maybe it’s just the lack of depth perception.

  • joetron2030

    If it’s an orderly albeit quick evacuation and your carry-on (assuming it is small) is right at your feet, why not grab it?

    I definitely agree that if it’s in the overhead, leave it and GTFO.

  • Dave

    It takes a bit of time to deploy those slides, right? You probably aren’t moving anyway with the confused crowd in front of you, especially if you’re a distance from the exits. I’d have grabbed my carry-on too.

  • jaime

    I admit that in a situation like this I would probably grab my purse which I always put under the seat in front of me. I would be FURIOUS, however, if someone blocked the path to exit because they were trying to wrestle their bag out of the overhead compartment. In the picture, most of the bags people are carrying seem to be smaller so perhaps they were stowed under the seat and within easy reach.

    And yes, it does look like the rear slide is right on top of the smoke! Scary!!

    • When a plane crashes, you don’t know why. The engine could be on fire and there’s two wings full of Jet A. It’s insane to think even for a second of spending any time getting stuff out of the overhead. Get out.

      First thing I tell all passengers (in obviously a smaller plane, but the principle is the same) is “if we go down, we’re going to end up upside down with fuel leaking on us. Get out and run and don’t look back.”

      • jaime

        All good points. Its easy for me look at the situation from the comfort of my desk with the knowledge that the plane wasn’t going to explode. I really don’t know how I’d react if faced with this situation. I read an article many moons ago about how people don’t always react to emergencies (or extreme duress) the way you would expect. I do have to say that when I board a plane I’m obsessive about counting the seat backs to the nearest exit from my seat. Not sure that would ever help, but my (perhaps misguided or delusional) thought is that I could find my way to the exit if my vision was impaired (by smoke or darkness).

  • Jim G

    This week we have the news about a plane that takes-off and vanishes… and now this story. I don’t care what the safety statistics prove; since 911, I just HATE FLYING.