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3 things NOT to do if there's an emergency on your plane

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen shows us how to escape a plane by participating in a simulated crash landing.
/ Source: TODAY

Last month an Air Canada jet on its approach to Halifax Stanfield International Airport in Nova Scotia struck an antenna array that sheared off its landing gear. Fortunately, all 138 people made it off the plane after it skidded off the runway.

A few weeks earlier, a Turkish airliner skidded off a foggy runway in Kathmandu, Nepal. All 224 people aboard survived.

Many passengers tune out when flight attendants give safety instructions. Given rare access to Delta's flight attendant training facility in Salt Lake City, even TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen, a frequent flier, found he was doing several things wrong during a simulated emergency.

Here are three things NOT to do if there's an emergency on your flight:

  • DON'T open a door unless instructed to by aircraft personnel. "We encourage passengers to never, ever open up our exits," veteran Delta flight attendant Liz Layton told Rossen.
  • DON'T pause to take your belongings. "Leave everything, including purse, phones," Layton said.
  • If your plane is going down in the water, DON'T inflate your life vest inside the airplane. "You're going to wait for the flight attendants to call you to the door," Layton explained.

One additional tip: When sliding down the emergency slide, DO hold your arms out in front of you. People waiting at the bottom of the slide will be able to grab your arms and pull you up and away faster.

To suggest a topic for an upcoming investigation, visit the Rossen Reports Facebook page.