The frightening and tragic accident on a Southwest Airlines flight on Tuesday, where one person was killed, can also serve as an important reminder to pay attention to those in-flight safety videos.
Thankfully, the remaining passengers escaped safely (apart from a few minor injuries) and were instructed to use their oxygen masks due to loss in cabin pressure from a window breaking. Photos from the incident have been circulating online and airplane staff are stressing the importance of paying attention and knowing how to use the masks. Of course, it can be difficult to know what to do in such a terrifying emergency, but this is why staff are urging people to pay attention right at the beginning of the flight since you never know what is going to happen.
When you’re up tens of thousand feet in the air, the air is thinner and there’s less oxygen, so plane cabins use a pressurized system to help people breathe normally. Southwest Flight 1380’s engine malfunctioned at 32,000 feet and when the window broke there was a drop in cabin pressure making the masks drop from above.
PEOPLE: Listen to your flight attendants! ALMOST EVERYONE in this photo from @SouthwestAir #SWA1380 today is wearing their mask WRONG. Put down the phone, stop with the selfies.. and LISTEN. **Cover your NOSE & MOUTH. #crewlife #psa #listen #travel #news #wn1380 pic.twitter.com/4b14lZulGm
— Bobby Laurie (@BobbyLaurie) April 17, 2018
As seen in the photo, people on the aircraft have the oxygen masks attached to their faces — but not in the correct spot. If you ever find yourself in a scary situation where the masks are needed, you have to remember to place them over your mouth and nose. The elastic scraps can be used to tighten the mask and even if it seems too small or more comfortable just over your mouth, this can affect how much oxygen your lungs are getting.
When you’re hyperventilating, one of the things you’re told is to breathe through your nose calmly. According to Livestrong, this is because the nose is the main direct pathway to the lungs, and breathing through the nose gives the lungs more time to extract the oxygen from the air you breathing. Mouth breathing is actually considered inefficient and can cause hyperventilation!
Hopefully, you never find yourself in a situation where you need to implement the aircraft safety procedures but it’s an important thing to know. Next time you’re flying, be sure to pay attention to the safety procedures.