People share their insights on what exactly they would talk about with a person sitting next to them during a hypothetical plane crash.
Near-death experiences can make people say very weird or unique things. This is especially the case for people who might be involved in a plane crash or extreme turbulence. Sometimes turning to the person next to you and sharing a few thoughts might surprisingly help alleviate some fear of crashing. Even though the probability of being in such a situation is miniscule, one can't help but wonder how such a conversation might go. Reddit user u/ivtimescelebs asked people, "You are on a plane that is about to crash, what do you say to the person next to you?" Here are 10 of the most interesting answers that people had to provide.
I’ve actually had an experience like this. I was flying on a 40-seat prop plane from Ancona to Rome, Italy (about a 50-minute flight) and the plane ran into some serious problems about 20 minutes after takeoff. First, all the lights went out so it was pitch black and then the engines went up so high in pitch, that I thought they were going to explode. We were being thrown around from turbulence and finally, we began to descend at an alarming angle, like a few degrees from a nose dive. There was a woman sitting next to me, Ophelia from Greece. We held hands through it partly for comfort and partly because even with seat belts on, we were being thrown around. I finally said “I think we’re going to crash” and then she stared at me for a few seconds then said, “Tell me about your family and I’ll tell you about mine.” So we literally started talking about siblings and parents and pets, whilst simultaneously anticipating our death. About 5 minutes before we landed, the lights came back on, but we were still at a weird angle plus we we were way too fast. We hit the runway so freakin hard, I hurt my back and bit my tongue so hard, my mouth filled with blood. But I honestly don’t know how the plane stayed intact. We disembarked and Ophelia and I hugged each other and said goodbye. All the passengers looked in shock as I’m sure I did. I do wonder how I would have handled it all if Ophelia wasn’t sitting next to me and vice versa. The whole thing was just surreal. u/instereo_93
I’d hold their hand. u/ford45lily. I used to be on business trips a bunch and traveled a bit. We were coming in for a shaky landing and the old woman next to me grabbed my hand and started praying. I allowed it and she thanked me greatly after we landed safely. u/brntGerbil. I was once on a short-haul plane landing at Heathrow from somewhere like Rotterdam and the pilot announced that the crosswind was right on the limit for whether or not we could land so he was going to attempt it. We could see the runway we were approaching out of the side window of the f****** plane - that was the severity of the angle we had to fly to actually approach the runway. The exact quote from the pilot was "We're going to make the attempt. This may feel a little 'sporty'". I swear the pilot was rolling up his sleeves and thinking, "At last, a challenge worthy of my abilities." The actual landing felt pretty normal after all the screaming on the way down. u/TheDaemonette
“I’m very sorry, but I didn’t turn my phone on airplane mode! u/Account-by-force. If that actually somehow affected the plane, they would never even let phones onboard. u/andersonenvy. I got blocked and yelled at by an old guy back in 2010 because I didn’t turn my phone off while landing and continued to watch the rest of the movie I downloaded. I explained to him it was in airplane mode. Didn’t matter. Some people are as dense as bricks. Reddit. Even more amusing ammunition for you, all the good pilots' headsets have Bluetooth connectivity FOR THEIR PHONES. Mine personally has an auxiliary port rather than Bluetooth for the same thing, but that’s cos I’m a cheapskate & I need a children-sized headset because I have a small head! Bugger paying $900 for a headset. u/Impressive-Rock-2279
This actually happened to a good friend of mine when the engines on a commercial airliner just quit and the pilot couldn't start them. The lady beside him asked if they could hold hands and the plane was absolutely quiet as it glided down until the engines started at the last minute and they landed on the foamed runway when everyone started complaining. My buddy was a frequent business flyer and just went and booked a different flight since he knew otherwise he'd never fly again. u/nonsense39. Engines are not keeping the plane in the air, the wings are. It's like a paper airplane, it can glide, and quite easily land without engines as long as there is a flat surface nearby to land on. u/Additional_Ad_8131
For all doom and gloom talk here: YSK that data from 1990 to 2014 indicates that 86% of occupants on average survive aircraft accidents, with all surviving in 81% of cases and all perishing in just 10% of cases. Older data from 1983 to 2000 indicates that "serious" accidents, which are "those involving fire, serious injury and substantial or total aircraft damage," have a 56% survival rate on average. On a less statistical note, pretty much all modern airliners can survive the loss of a single engine and still maintain positive lift, and even when all engines fail the glide ratios of modern aircraft are between around 15 and 25 to 1 (for every mile in altitude lost, you get 15 - 25 miles of horizontal distance to work with). Both private and commercial pilot training involves simulated (but real-world) engine-out training, with a major commercial training item being an engine out in the pattern and being able to put the plane down on the 1,000-footers, just like a normal landing. So don't count yourself out just because the plane's going down. u/Sitting_In_A_Lecture
I entered this world with my twin brother. He became one of my all-time favorite people. It seems I will be exiting this world with you, and we don’t even know each other. But I bet you are someone’s favorite, too. Here’s hoping the exit isn’t as bumpy as my entrance was! u/OlderAndTired. I knew a woman who died with her twin when they were in their 90s. They’d gone out to dinner with a third sister who dropped them off after at one twin's house and the one that I knew had her car there. The one that lived there went inside while the one I knew went to get in her car to drive home, but she slipped on ice and couldn’t get up. The twin who lived there saw out the window so she went to help and she fell too. They froze to death together. The one that lived there had a life-alert bracelet. They found it on her kitchen table where she put it down when she got home. u/Risheil
It happened to me. A woman next to me, a complete stranger, looked at me and said, through tearful eyes, “I don’t want to die a virgin”. Not sure what she thought I was going to do, as we had just received the brace for impact warning from the pilot. The plane landed on its belly without landing gear, but there was no fire or other related issue. We were all evacuated along the inflatable slide. Weirdly, she avoided me after that. LOL. u/613jakeisatplay
Nothing. Or everything. Who knows. I’ve never been on a crashing plane before. “That’s the point, dumb***. You imagine and make it up.” Ok. I’d imagine it would revolve around the safety measures of flight crew telling us how to best survive. I’d be focused on survival and making some backup plans if not. I’d be helping them however I could. It wouldn’t be a bit. I wouldn’t say, “Well isn’t this ironic, don’t ya think?” I’d be bracing for impact and doing absolutely everything I could to prepare everyone for that shit. Optimism and bracing for death, just like I’ve done countless times in dreams. Follow-up Reddit question: “How many ways have you accepted death in your dreams, and do you think it’s helping you actually cope if it happens?” u/LetsJerkCircular
I actually was in a plane crash in 2004. There were three of us on board when our engine died, and we crashed into the woods just short of the runway to the airport. My father was our pilot, and from the time of engine failure to impact, we had about 8 1/2 minutes to troubleshoot so our conversation at first was calm, cool and professional on his part, as well as his friend, who was also a certified pilot. We went through emergency procedures and I assisted with reading the checklist to them and listening to their conversation with air traffic control. I let them handle the situation. When we started to lose altitude and realized we wouldn’t make the runway, the only words that I could speak to the other two were right before impact and I yelled, “Oh $hit!” We tore through some trees, and the nose of the plane hit the ground. Amazing, we all walked away with minor injuries. u/Cee-Jaye67
My wife and I took off from Luang Prabang, heading for Chiang Mai in an ATR 72. Mountainous area. While ascending (I'm in the window seat), the engines are doing that high-pitched whine and we're bumping all over the place. I'm white knuckles on the armrests, silently praying we make it to cruising altitude. Wifey leans across me looking out the window, points outside and says to me "Look. The mountains look like teeth!". Completely undisturbed! I felt like kissing the tarmac when we came to a stop in Chiang Mai. u/sindhusurfer