What to do while your plane is falling apart

This is an extraordinary video from today’s emergency landing of a Southwest Airlines jet in Philadelphia.

Of course, passengers like Marty Martinez, don’t know they’re not going to crash; they only know the engine has blown up and some windows were blown out.

No doubt, people will criticize taking a video at a time like this. But what else are you going to do?

Posted by Marty Martinez on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Something is wrong with our plane! It appears we are going down! Emergency landing!! Southwest flight from NYC to Dallas!!

Posted by Marty Martinez on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Martinez’ picture looks a lot different from the view flight attendants usually have when they’re giving their safety instructions before flight.

Posted by Marty Martinez on Tuesday, April 17, 2018

  • crystals

    A woman was (allegedly) partially sucked out of/into the window damaged in the engine explosion and critically injured. I really hope she makes it. (I am also really glad I read this after, and not before, my flight today.)

  • Experienced travelers keep their seatbelts on whenever they are in their seats. They also make a mental note of where the exits are. Clear air turbulence can throw an unbelted passenger into the ceiling and onto other passengers. A loss of cabin pressure isn’t that common, but it’s way safer to be belted in if it happens.

  • pleppik

    It’s worth noting that everyone visible in the picture is wearing their oxygen mask improperly. It’s supposed to go over both your nose and your mouth.

    I’m not sure what this means, but it probably says something about the effectiveness of the safety briefing, the safety equipment, or both.

    • Barton

      That is an interesting & important item to notice – especially since I go back and look at the video and it doesn’t look like the yellow “cup” part is large enough to fit both the mouth and nose at once….

    • Joseph

      The yellow cups don’t look like they would fit over both mouth and nose…and the people using the cups over the mouth could treat it like a SCUBA apparatus (breath in through the mouth, exhale via the nose).

    • Rixware

      One little change to the design of those cups (shape them like the ones in hospitals) and every single person would be doing it correctly. Seems like a pretty easy — and therefore incredibly unlikely — fix.

      • Jack

        And it won’t happen because it costs money. Sad but true.

    • joeyboy22

      I think it says way more about the attention span of people nowadays. The briefing contains everything you need to know but of course there is that tricky listening hurdle to overcome.

  • KTFoley

    “But what else are you going to do?”

    If I didn’t misinterpret what’s seen in the first 15 seconds, maybe stow your laptop?

  • AL287

    Fatigue of materials is a well known phenomenon in the engineering world and especially affects materials made of metal.

    My guess is the constant switch back and forth between normal ambient temperature air at ground level and sub zero temperatures at 30-40,000 feet altitude eventually caused the fan blades to fail as well as the metal retaining ring which is supposed to prevent these kinds of accidents.

    Nothing can last forever including jet engine components which is why frequent inspections of airplane components is so very important to keep the flying public safe.

    You are totally at the mercy of the manufacturing process. Fatigue of materials can happen after many years or after several weeks.

    Southwest has a solid safety record so it’s more likely it was fatigue of materials rather than skimpy safety inspections.

    We’ll see.

    I still prefer to drive or take the train.

  • chlost

    I wonder whether passengers will be paying more attention to the safety talks now.

    • joeyboy22

      Highly doubtful.

  • joeyboy22

    What else are you going to do? How bout NOT take a video? If you were going to die your loved ones would have a tough enough time with it without you providing actual footage of your death. I just think its stupid.