Photo: 74 Gear/YouTube

Watch a Pilot Debunk a Viral TikTok on How to Survive a Plane Crash

News Airports + Flying
by Eben Diskin Jul 9, 2021

There’s a general rule of thumb that you should probably follow when planning your trips, or just generally looking for serious advice: Don’t get your information from TikTok. One viral TikTok video advises viewers how to survive a plane crash, but there’s a problem — it’s completely inaccurate. Inspired by this and other TikToks doling out travel advice that ranges from wrong to downright dangerous, this pilot made a YouTube video to debunk them.

Among other things, the TikTok tells viewers not to assume a commonly accepted physical safety position in the event of a crash, alleging that it would do more harm than good. The video also claims that airlines tell you to assume the brace position because they don’t actually want you to survive and “sue them for millions of dollars” (all of this, of course, without evidence). Instead, the TikToker recommends putting your feet up on the seat in front of you and keeping your back straight.

The pilot then begins debunking the video, saying, “Um, so that’s mostly all wrong.”

“You can break your back and survive,” he says. “It literally happens all the time. But you know what’s harder to survive? A projectile going through your head.”

In another TikTok video, a woman claims that she can “confirm that airline companies want you to die whenever you get into a plane crash,” because airplane seats aren’t built with safety in mind and wouldn’t even fare well in a car crash.

To this, the pilot addresses her false equivalency between planes and cars. “When I see people spreading this type of fear,” he says, “it makes me laugh, because it’s not even logical … What does she want the seats to be made of?” He goes on to explain that no matter what airplane seats are made of, it wouldn’t make a difference to your chances of survival.

He also debunks other videos, like how to save a plane from crashing if both pilots are unconscious.

If you’re torn on whom to trust — a pilot or TikTokers — for the love of God trust the pilot.

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