August 25, 2006 8:04 AM   Subscribe

You know when you get on a plane and you watch the performance about how to put on a life-jacket? What was the most recent instance of a life-jacket saving the life of someone travelling on a scheduled flight?
posted by londongeezer to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
can't tell you most recent. but the on board life preservers saved the lives of several passengers on Air Florida flight 90 when it hit the 14th Street bridge over the Potomac in Virginia in January 1982.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:15 AM on August 25, 2006

Possibly this Ethiopian Airlines crash.
posted by pieoverdone at 8:16 AM on August 25, 2006

From AirSafe this appears to be the most recent deep water crash with survivors:
6 August 2005; Tuninter ATR72; near Palermo, Italy: The aircraft was on an unscheduled international flight from Bari, Italy to Djerba, Tunisia when the aircraft reportedly developed engine trouble. The crew ditched the aircraft off the coast of Palermo. The aircraft had been on a scheduled domestic flight from Kish Island in the Persian Gulf. Two of the four crew members and 14 of the 35 passengers were killed.
posted by caddis at 8:42 AM on August 25, 2006

This source says some of the passengers were not wearing life vests, implying most of the rest were.
posted by caddis at 8:48 AM on August 25, 2006

This is not recent, but since you've got a lot of answers, here's an especially prominent incident of a passenger jet that went down on the high seas: ALM DC-9, 1970 in the Atlantic Ocean. It's covered nicely in Macarthur Job's Air Disaster book series.
posted by hodyoaten at 9:45 AM on August 25, 2006

Just for the record, from that forum earlier, this is basically why there are life jackets on airplanes:

"Many airport runways are built on water and there have been many survivable incidents where an airplane ended up either fully or partially in the water near an airport. Not everyone can swim it would be a pity for people to die needlessly so close to shore."

Airplanes sliding off the runway into water (or undershooting the runway and landing in it) are a _relatively_ common occurrence.
posted by autojack at 9:55 AM on August 25, 2006

Wikipedia's water landing article is very good.
posted by cillit bang at 11:12 AM on August 25, 2006

As I've mentioned before, I had family members on a plane that slid off the end of the LaGuardia runway. According to the accident report, life jackets were not provided for the passengers, who had to use thier seat cushions for flotation. I believe the rules have changed since then.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:18 AM on August 25, 2006

Thanks everyone. I take the sliding off runways into water point. As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of a rationale when there's no water around the airport to slide off into.
posted by londongeezer at 3:46 AM on August 26, 2006

As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of a rationale when there's no water around the airport to slide off into.

It sounds to me like you came to this thread without an open mind and you were basically looking for people to confirm your idea that these things are worthless. There have been instances where the plane has ditched into water - the accident I cited above, plus those in the wikipedia article and perhaps more. Add to that the sliding off the end of the runway issue. Should all those lives have been sacrificed? It's not common, but they do save lives. Why the hate for life vests?
posted by caddis at 7:34 AM on August 26, 2006

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