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The Safest Seat – Myth or Reality?

Every time you book a ticket for flying to your next destination, you probably mostly focus on choosing a more comfortable seat for your flight. But, have you ever thought that there can also be the safest seat on the airplane? This question may look weird for most of you, as maybe you never even thought about this seat idea while buying your ticket. If so, then this is the right time to wait for a second and discover the meaning and whereabouts of this so-called safest seat. 

But before discovering the seat, we have to remember that commercial aircraft cabin is divided into 3 main parts: 

1. Front Row (Business Class/First Class) 2. Middle Row 3. Aft Row (Rare cabin (Tail part) 

Now, you guys always want to get the first-class or business class seat just because of more comfort, and the opportunity to leave the plane earlier after the landing, right? But if you are seeking for the safest seat, can you imagine that you should go way back to the aft row of the airplane? Surprised?


Well, according to researches, it was concluded that in the extremely unlikely plane crash, the passengers who sat in the back of the plane had a 69% chance of survival, compared to 56% chance for those who sat over the wing and 49% for those in the front. So this means that the back of the plane is considered the safest. Ok, now you are probably thinking about what is the reasonable justification for this statement? Let’s get the answer by referring to physics, which tells us that the people sitting in the back of the plane are far away from that center of gravity of the airplane, which means that during the stall the nose is pulled down more than the downward force of the horizontal stabilizer. In addition to physics rule, we have to know that the aft part of the aircraft is far away from the fuel tanks, has less or none instruments, cables which would risk your life during the crash or accident.

But also let’s not forget that all crashes and accidents are different. If, for example, the back of a plane is to hit the ground first, it’d be safer to be sitting in the front, right? Yet, from all the crashes data that experts have, they found out that during the most crashes, the nose part goes down and hits the ground first, then comes the midsection and after that only the aft part. So it seems that people at the back have better chances in most of the cases. 

If you see the chart below, it will show us again the real image of survival rates numbers of the so-called safest seat: 

  • 49% survival rate – front row 
  • 56% survival rate – ahead of the wing 
  • 56% survival rate – over the wing 
  • 69% survival rate – rear cabin 

Finding the safest seat, however, doesn’t mean that traveling by airplane is not safe, just the opposite, here we, again and again, have to mention that driving a car, taking a train or bus to reach our destinations are not safer as air traveling. You are unlikely going to be involved in any plane crash or aviation accident during your lifetime.  So fasten your seat belt, sit back relaxed, choose your favorite movie or music, and enjoy your flight. 

Until next time, and as always, “We Speak Aviation.”

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