Gallery of plane crash photos on

Flight1420.jpg has a gallery up today of plane crash photos plus tips on how to survive a plane crash. (i.e. "Don't cross your legs or your ankles at takeoff or on landing. If you have a rough landing and you've got one broken ankle, you can limp off the plane. If you have two broken ankles, you'll have to crawl off.")

Gallery: People survived these dire plane crashes [Wired's Autopia]


  1. Okay, this tip must be for the first-classies. It would be quite a feat to cross your legs in coach.

    1. The gallery in the post is showing images of crashes in which at least some of the passengers and crew survived. Sort of a “wow, this could have been so much worse, but for [fate/the skill of the crew/whatever else]” type of thing. Plane crashes, as you point out, can definitely be worse; most, luckily, turn out like this.

    2. Hmm, I could have sworn that at least some of the photos and videos Wired posted were of crashes. So maybe not all of them result in smoking craters.

  2. circa 1980 there was a magazine on the newsstand at college called VIOLENT DEATH (I guess an early ver. of anyways one of the staples was photos of plane crashes that the press did not publish.
    Crash sites that I saw look nothing like these pristine images.
    Body parts all over the place, hanging in trees etc. Fascinating but extremely disturbing.

  3. The article suggests purchasing a respirator to protect against smoke and toxic gasses. (Not just the toxic egg salad cloud from the guy next to you, I’m guessing.)

    “Smoke escape emergency respirator masks are available in a wide variety of prices and weights. Some cost under $20, weigh less than a pound and don’t take up much room. They cover the entire head and are designed to give 10-15 minutes of clean air, probably all which would be needed. ”

    Here’s one on Amazon and it’s adorable. You could tape ears on it so it’s even more like a bunny. I’m just wondering what kind of questions you’d get about it at security.

  4. the simplest advice for surviving a plane crash: Don’t get on a plane.
    Yes, I know I’m far more likely to die in a car crash or even just crossing the road, however, the difference is this: In a car crash, I am behind the wheel, and the strength of my driving ability will contribute to my ability to survive. I hate abdicating my safety to anyone else, I hate the idea of one guy (or a flight crew) being responsible for a hundred lives, if he drinks that morning, we all (could) die, if I drink that morning, me, and a few others on the road could die.

    1. So, when you get in a car crash, you’ll not want help from the police, fire crews, EMTs or doctors, either, right? I mean, they might have been drinking and who knows what they’ll do, right?

      Not to mention the road inspectors, car inspectors, road crews, engineers, crash testers, and bajillions of other people in whose hands you put your safety to every day. I mean, if an engineer drinks and designs a part the wrong way, we could all die!

      Come to think of it, I think the requirements are a bit more stringent for a pilot than for a car driver. If everyone had a professional driver as their own personal chauffeur, you might have a point. As it is now, you go to an office, pick up some guy (has he been drinking?! Who knows?!) take a car for a spin around the block, and all of a sudden you’re qualified to drive.

      Commercial airline pilots, on the other hand, merely have to go through constant education and upgrading, log hundreds or thousands of hours of flying time, be trained, tested, and certified specifically on their equipment, and have strict rules regulating the amount they can fly in a given timeframe. They also have a second pilot who has almost as much time at the stick as the first, a ground crew and flight controllers directing each airplane and maintaining a safe distance between them. And if that weren’t enough, modern computers and autopilots can both takeoff and land a plane automatically, and are set to warn the pilots and default to taking precautionary actions if the pilots are non-responsive (e.g. levelling a plane if it’s in a nosedive).

      In summary, you’re perfectly welcome to not feel comfortable flying. Just don’t make like you’re somehow superior to the pilots and crew, instead of simply chicken.

    2. I hate abdicating my safety to anyone else

      When you drive, you’re abdicating your safety to every other driver you cross paths with. You can be the greatest driver in the world, but you’re still safer flying.

    3. I see you point, but think of it this way. In the air, you’re at the mercy of a few dozen people at the controls. On the road, you’re at the mercy of a few thousand people at the controls. Personally, I’d much rather be in the air than on the road. (I’ve seen some bad “driving” in both places.)

  5. They cover the entire head and are designed to give 10-15 minutes of clean air

    Either that, or ensure the face and neck are coated in a layer of flaming melted plastic. I guess you’re rolling the dice one way or the other.

    Also: I’ve always wished airports had a place you could go practice opening airplane emergency doors while you’re waiting around for your flight, instead of having to figure it out on the spot in an emergency. I bet a lot of poeple would realize the doors are way too heavy for them.

  6. I used to work with one of the few survivors of one of the bigger plane crashes: the one in the Canary Islands I think.
    He was coming back with his wife from his honeymoon. They locked arms to stay together and went over the seatbacks near the windows to avoid the panicked, fighting mob in the aisles on their way to the door. He broke his collar bone and they both broke an arm with the locked arms thing but they got out in time.

  7. From reading the comments at Wired, I now believe that the greatest risk factor in air crashes is the lack of of a “view all” button.

  8. But there’s enough room in the overhead bins for at least two or three pairs of legs, right? It’s been a few years since I’ve flown.

  9. if I have one in a billion odds of dying in a plane crash, why would I associate with 200 other people playing the same odds?

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