I am not sure how many airplane flights I have taken in my life. I certainly have no memory of my first flight, prior to the age of two. Most of you have made a trip by plane. Probably more than one by this time in your life, giving you the opportunity to sample airline safety briefings as provided by various commercial carriers.
The normal drill consists of getting on the plane, cramming your luggage, computer, and bags in an overhead compartment so that you can leave the miniscule space under the seat in front of you free for feet. Otherwise you can spend the trip uncomfortably pinned in your seat with your knees around your ears or crammed into the back of the seat in front of you. Settling in, you find a place for book, knitting bag, blanket, pillow, cheap headphones from the cabin attendant before sliding your laptop behind your back so that no one objects and your don’t have to get up once en route.
(Note that I am speaking of the travel as seen from the point of view of a normal person, not one of those exalted beings who travel in business or first class).
Then the cabin attendants commence with the safety announcements right about the time you really want to go to sleep. Some airlines, mostly international carriers, use movies to review all the safety information. In fact, several have subtitles so that two languages can be covered at once. Others inform you as to which audio channel will be advising you in your favorite language.
I don’t mind having the exits reviewed. Better to know how to un-ass the AO than to have to figure it out in a panic. I completely ignore the seat belt drill. Perhaps 50 years ago, when seatbelts were not mandatory in automobiles, it might have made sense to instruct everyone on inserting the tab and opening the clasp. Now, I just shake my head.
Now, we are moving on to the oxygen masks. What none of the airlines tell you is that flying at multiple miles/kilometers up in the air you obviously need to be in a pressurized cabin. If that cabin is breached, there are a limited number of seconds in which you need to react before you will black out from lack of O2. That explains why you are told to don your own mask before helping others; it is better to avoid the small child screaming into a mask while the parent is passed out on top of them.
All of that forms a rather long introduction to a most recent emergency briefing provided by an Air National Guard flight crew member:
1) If we lose pressure, nothing is going to drop out of the celing
2) You need to grab one of these bags off the wall (pulls off hanging OD green bag)
3) Take out one of the pouches and pass the bag along the line
4) Pull the thing here and unseal the bag.
5) Forget everything your mom told you about safety and bags
6) Tag out the interior bag, yank on the red thing and pop it over your head.
7) If you can’t breathe, try it again. By the time you have it figured out, either we will be down or it won’t be a problem anymore.
8) Thank you for flying with the “xxxxxx” National Guard, we will probably get you there.