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Is it true that the main reason that we would be told to adopt the brace position, in an aeroplane hurtling towards the ground type situation, is that our teeth would be more intact, making it easier to identify us from dental records?
asked in aircraft, air travel, crashes

sheps101 answers:

from wiki


There have been myths surrounding the use of the brace procedure, namely that adopting the brace procedure is only useful for preserving dental integrity for identification after a crash. Another myth is that the position is designed to increase the chance of death to reduce insurance-paid medical cost, though this was shown to be false on the popular Discovery channel show MythBusters episode number 33. Instances where the brace procedure has been adopted have been shown to save lives. In one accident, passengers were asleep on an aircraft that was about to collide with trees. One passenger awoke and adopted the procedure, and he was the only survivor[4]. All passengers aboard Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751, which crashed, survived due to adoption of the brace position[5].

Supplement from 12/08/2007 08:25pm:

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Topaz2308 answers:

You are less likely to be injured by flying objects and it protects the body from so much damage as there is less surface area exposed due to the positioning.

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Aiming4777 answers:

Undoubtedly, if an aircraft crashed at high speed by dropping from the sky, the sitting position would not make much difference to the chances of survival. However, many air crashes happen during landing or take-off when the chances of surviving are quite good.

The `brace' position was developed to protect occupants involved in an impact and give the best possible chance of survival and to reduce any injuries. The biggest problem with the brace position is that there is sufficient warning of the crash occurring or the passengers are panicking too much (or were not paying attention during the safety briefing) to adopt the correct position.

For many years the brace position was to put the arms straight out against the headrest in front and stretch out the legs under the seat in front.

This was changed after the Kegworth air crash in 1989 when a Boeing 737 crashed on an emergency approach to East Midland Airport and hit the embankment on the M1 motorway. The pilot was able to instruct the passengers to prepare for crash landing 10 seconds before the impact. The crash investigators were able to examine the injuries sustained by both passengers who adopted the correct brace position and those who did not.

A major finding of the study indicated that severe leg could be sustained in the absence of secondary impacts and that the position the lower limbs adopt affected the injuries seen.

After Kegworth, a modified brace position was adopted, in which the passengers are bent double with their forehead pressed against the seat in front, arms wrapped around their head and feet flat on the floor. Following extensive crash testing, this version of the position was introduced to prevent the injuries seen after the Kegworth crash.

Siource: “The Management of Disasters and Their Aftermath” by WA Wallace, JM Rowles and CLColton

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Russel.West answers:

All the while your hoping that position will save your life you are not up in the isles demanding a parachute - my idea would be to rush to the galley and hand out the brandy - and I don't drink!!!

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KentPDG answers:

While the brace position is useful for fixed-wing aircraft crashes, it provides no benefit in a helicopter crash.

In fact, there is no position that helps prior to a helicopter crash, other than getting to your knees and praying. Helicopters crash in a nearly straight-down position, with rarely any survivors. The principal cause of death in helicopter crashes is spinal compression.

Incidentally, all helicopter crashes are relatively low-speed crashes. No helicopter can fly faster than about 240 mph, air speed. That is because the backward-moving blade becomes essentially stationary relative to the air at that speed, and loses lift. Typical smaller helicopters fly at 125-150 mph, which of course is fast enough to bang one up in a collision; but the majority of helicopter crashes just have the machine falling out of the sky, with disasterous spinal effects for the passengers.

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