The lessons of air travel: Forget the bags, just get off!

Picture: PA

In November 2017, passengers on a plane on a Cork Airport runway used emergency doors after the pilot told them to disembark quickly.

Cabin crew told investigators, whose report was published yesterday, that passengers may have panicked when a fire crew with hoses surrounded the Airbus 320.

This may be an unfortunate characterisation of an incident where individuals took responsibility for their own safety and evacuated the plane without injury or loss of life to any of the 143 passengers or six crew involved.

Any of the 42 people who died when a Russian plane made an emergency landing and burst into flames just after takeoff from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in recent days would have been delighted with such a positive outcome.

Unfortunately, that Aeroflot aircraft’s engines caught fire after it made an emergency landing. Almost amazingly, 37 passengers and four crew survived.

However, the graphic footage of the inferno will hardly encourage air travel even if statistics show how very safe it is.

The report that passengers trying to collect luggage from overhead lockers delayed the evacuation and cost lives will hardly reassure nervous travellers either.

It is easy to raise an eyebrow to this suggestion but how many of us would have the clear-mindedness, the composure, while trapped in a burning aircraft, to abandon possessions so we, and others, might escape?

The Moscow tragedy offers a lesson we should all absorb.

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