Flying Over Water
Fear of Flying Over Water or Ditching
You may fear flying over water or having to ditch in case of an emergency. However, today flying over water is not as bad as it seems. You may look at a map and wonder where you would land if a problem occurred and you were flying over an ocean.
Well, today most over the sea routes are made to last no more than 5 hours between airports. Planes such as the Boeing 777 have been tested and proven to be able to fly for about 3 hours on a single engine. That means if your plane were to suffer engine failure - where one engine failed - you would still be able to land because you'll be 2 and half hours away from any airport.
Statistics have also shown that most airplane reroutes occur not because of engine failure, but because of weather and medical conditions. Also, engineering is becoming more and more advanced and greater reliability is being built in airplane engines today.
And even if you were to ditch, unlike the first decades of the 20th century rescuers would know exactly where you are. Airplanes use satellites to help them navigate through the air which have made navigating much easier.
Also, your airplane is equipped with rescue devices and rescue gear. Your airplane crew is also trained to act in case of such an emergency. Large airplanes, like ships, have 8 rafts which can carry over 50 people. That's a total of over 400 people in case such an emergency would occur.
Large airplanes are also equipped with Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT). ELT's are set in motion automatically when they get wet. They transmit emergency signals which would help the rescue team locate the airplane quickly. The ELTs will continue transmitting the signals for over 48 hours. The signals can cover a distance of between 100 and 280 miles.
In case it starts raining after your ditch, your raft has an umbrella, called a canopy, that will shield you from the rain. Some canopies also have a mirror which will reflect sunlight and help rescue crafts see you sooner. The canopy will prove to be double helpful if the sun is scorching.
If you get hungry or thirsty there is drinking water and food on board. While ditching is certainly an experience no one would ever want to have, there are precautions that have been taken to avoid ditching at all costs, and if ditching cannot be avoided, to help still stay safe even after ditching has occurred. This should make you feel safe.