Skip to content
Home » flight safety

flight safety

Oops! They Did It Again. What to Know About Sharks and Aviation Safety

  • 9 min read

Are airline safety videos over, or can a well plotted story-building formula survive a ditching?

Life Vest

Back in the day, when I wasn’t busy helping make aircraft interiors beautiful, I persuaded cabin crew that it was important to kick sharks in the nose.

This was more theory than practice. But it was based on expert survival advice for the unimaginable consequences of an aircraft ditching.

Discussing preparations for an aircraft ditching involved overcoming the audience objection, “That’s probably never going to happen.”

This reaction was based on the indisputable fact that landing a large commercial aircraft on the water–without it breaking up into many little pieces–is a difficult operation.

Still, ditching training is required because it can and has happened. However remote, we must consider all possible emergency conditions in airline safety procedures.

The company I worked for specifically dealt in water survival devices (lifejackets and life rafts). It was part of my job to help crew focus on what to do on the off-chance that they found themselves caring for passengers in open waters.

This was even before US Airways 1549, the exception that proved all the rules.

Though I referenced several other previous aircraft ditching events, it was difficult to persuade airline crew and engineers to pay close attention when they were betting it would never happen to them.

That’s how “kick the shark” was born.

Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner