Blaschum said now, even as a passenger, she always checks to see where the exits are.
“Because most people, they’re gonna go where they came in and you’re gonna have this mass of humanity,” she said. “You do need to be aware. You don’t want to go running back and all you have is a bathroom back there then you have to turn around and run forward.”
Pay attention to the crew
And in an emergency, leave your possessions behind. Blaschum remembered a bomb scare on a flight once.
“Everybody wants to stop and get their stuff,” she said. “They need to follow instructions. They need to listen to the emergency announcement and leave everything behind.”
“TWA had a policy that all window shades had to be up for take-off and landing and somebody said, ‘Why?’ I said because if there was an accident it’s gonna happen in the first three minutes or the last eight minutes,” she said. “We used to call it plus three minus eight. I want to look out there if there’s a fire out there, I’m not going out that side. I wanna go this way. So you need to be able to see.”
A recent statistical study by Boeing echoed that time frame of fatal accidents and onboard fatalities by phase of flight. The study showed take off, initial climb, final approach, and landing accounted for 61 percent of fatal accidents from 2007 to 2016 but only 6 percent of flight time.
Bottom line, Blaschum wants us to be more alert when we fly.
“Be prepared at all times for the unexpected,” she said.