Safest place to sit on airplane in case of crash

Pilot says passengers can learn lessons from Asiana Flight 214

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter
Headline Goes Here

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Statistically airplanes are the safest way to travel with far fewer accidents than any other mode of transportation, but the question on many passengers minds, where is the safest place to sit on a plane.

"The safest place to sit is in the back of the plane. It's kind of a tragic way to say it, but all the weight and momentum in an airplane is being pushed forward when it when it hits a stop. Like the ground, or a wall, so essentially you have all that energy moving forward," said Randy Reep, a local attorney and professional pilot who pilots planes similar to the Boeing 777.

Reep he says he's landed at San Francisco's International Airport right near the bay and credits the flight crew with doing a good job of evacuating more nearly 300 passengers before the entire plane caught fire.

"It is remarkable how fast they can get people off of an airplane," said Reep.

When Asiana Flight 213 came in low and hit the runway, it's tail shear off according to the NTSB. When the plane hit the ground and slid along the runway, passengers say the airplane contents became projectiles.

"As it landed, It was a hard loud noise and then the masks fell down and then severe stuff started falling down on people and everyone started screaming," said plane passenger Noni, who was interviewed by the news media at the airport.

Reep adds, "You may have been on an airplane and seen an overhead bin open up, maybe on a soft landing or turbulence. Those things are not locked down, so when during the impact when the fuselage was bending, things were flying."

Reep says whether or not you sit in the back, front or middle of the plane, the key to surviving a crash is knowing where your emergency exits are.  He says it's also important for passengers to be ready to assume the brace position in their seats. Placing your head as close to your knees as possible, feet flat on the floor. 

"There are studies about the brace position, being in the correct position will eliminate the number of flailing injuries," said Reep

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.