Important Airplane Safety Tips

airplane, airline, pilotRecently, an Orange County native by the name of David Prizio crashed into the Pacific Ocean, 8 miles north of Catalina Island, while flying his self-built airplane. Unexpectedly, the engine died, plummeting Prizio and a fellow experienced aviator into the water.

Prizio, who has been flying planes for most of his life, had never experienced an engine failure, or a plane malfunction before. Luckily, both Prizio and his fellow pilot suffered minor injuries, and were rescued by a nearby fishing boat. For more on this news story, visit The Orange County Register. 

Contrary to popular belief, recent statistics show that your chances of survival in a plane crash are higher than one may think. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, over 90% of people involved in plane crashes survive.

Following these safety tips may help increase your chances of survival if you find yourself in an unexpected situation similar to Prizio’s:

  • Always listen carefully to the safety instructions before your flight takes off. This information is not only valuable, but can be life-saving if a crash were to occur. If you have questions about any of the instructions, be sure to seek out answers by a flight attendant.
  • Check for a life jacket under your seat before your flight takes off. If you don’t see one, relay this information to a flight attendant as soon as possible.
  • Remember the Plus 3/Minus 8 Rule. These time frames refer to the 3 minutes after a plane has taken-off, and the 8 minutes right before a plane lands. Research shows that these critical moments are the times most likely for a plane crash to occur. During these two time frames, it is crucial to make sure your seat belt is properly fastened, that you remain awake and alert, and that your shoes are properly tied and/or secure.
  • Lastly, if you recognize that you are about to crash, assume the brace position immediately. This position can help alleviate impact wounds, and entails curling your body into a ball, with your head lowered toward your legs and with your arms up around your head.

If you have been injured in a plane crash or a plane-related accident, please feel free to contact us at 949-496-7000, or by e-mail at  There is no charge for an initial conversation about your case.

Personal injury attorney John P. Burns was once an airplane captain for Trans World Airlines (TWA). To learn more about Mr. Burns, read his biography here.