Last Sunday, Aeroflot flight SU1492 caught fire upon emergency landing at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. Unfortunately, 41 people lost their lives as a result of this accident. We wish to use this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all of the victims of this tragedy. Although the real cause of the accident has not been confirmed  as of yet, this accident has caught the attention of the international community, particularly regarding issues related to safety on board and passenger evacuation procedures. It was widely seen via social and traditional media that many passengers evacuated the ablaze aircraft by taking their bags and other personal belongings with them. Today we wish to highlight the importance of safety in aviation and how vital it is to follow instructions from cabin crew and pre-flight safety video.

Aeroflot’s Sukhoi SJ100

Following last Sunday’s emergency landing accident of the Aeroflot Sukoi Superjet 100, where 41 people lost their lives, Tatyana Kasatkina, Cabin Crew Member for the airline explained how she helped people to evacuate the aircraft to the Lenta News Agency. She said that she had to grab passengers by the collar to help to force them get them out of the plane quickly. This statement followed the shocking images from Moscow, showing people evacuating the jet by taking their hand-luggage with them. Those images have triggered a lot of anger and upset among cabin crews and aviation personnel around the world.

One of the most important priorities in the aviation world today is safety. This is one of the reasons why passengers must watch a safety video prior to every flight. This content is developed by international aviation organizations, such as IATA or the ICAO in collaboration with various national aviation authorities. In Switzerland the aviation authority is the “FOCA” or in German “BAZL”. Evacuating a burning aircraft presents many challenges that have to be resolved in a matter of seconds. It is important to understand that bags and luggages could damage the emergency slides or block vital exits. In the Aeroflot case, only two emergency exits were safely available to use, as the others were blocked by the fire. Passengers that evacuated with their bags impeded vital means of aircraft egress and dangerously slowed the evacuation process. Because of this delay, some passengers in the rear section of the aircraft were blocked from exiting the Aircraft and unfortunately lost their lives as a result.

Side-View of the SJ100

It is vital to every passenger to attentively listen to the safety announcements, videos and follows all instructions carefully by your flight crew. Flight crews have undergone intensive training and it is very important to trust all all their directions and instructions in the event of an emergency. An aircraft normally requires evacuation within 90 seconds. With only  2 exits available for 75 passengers, it allowed only 2-3 seconds per passenger to safely leave the aircraft. Passengers impeding this process by taking their personal belongings leads to the potential of lives being lost. What is more important? A bag with items that can be replaced or a life that cannot? That’s the question you should always ask yourself when flying!

All pictures featured on this article were provided by Ivan (Instagram @spotter_ivan). Thank You Ivan!

Categories: Analyses

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