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Which Part of an Aircraft is the Safest?

Which Part of an Aircraft is the Safest?

Published: September 16, 2020


Choosing a seat in the aircraft for when you fly can be stressful. Where should I sit? Which part of the aircraft has the best air and which part of an aircraft is the safest?

There has been a number of studies done by different universities, authorities, and airlines on the relativity between aircraft seating arrangements and fatalities. The Federal Aviation Administration, also known as the FAA, has released a database that looked through records of accidents with fatalities and survivors along with the seating charts.

The report was done over a 35-year period with the oldest report coming in the year 1985. Through this analysis done by the FAA, we were able to observe that those seated at the back part, or more known as the back third, of the aircraft had a 32% fatality rate.

The middle third and the front third of the aircraft had a fatality rate of 39% and 38% respectively. We were also given the opportunity to observe and analyze the effects of row positions.

According to the report, the middle seat in the back of the aircraft (the rear of the aircraft) had the best position with just 28% fatality rate. In fact, the worst part to sit in is actually on the aisle of the middle third of the cabin as it comes at a 44% fatality rate.

In the year 2008, the University of Greenwich also released a study that observed emergency exit usage in an aircraft after an accident has occurred during a flight. It was stated in the study by the University of Greenwich that those who are seated nearer to the emergency exits are more likely to survive an incident!

There is, however, a flaw in this as it makes passengers assume that they do not need to account for the circumstances surrounding the accident. If a fire were to break out in the back of the aircraft, the middle third or front third cabin passengers would definitely have a higher chance of surviving compared to the back third.

TIME magazine has stated that “we found that survival was random in several accidents – those who perished were scattered irregularly between survivors. It’s for this reason that the FAA and other airline safety experts say there is no safest seat on the plane.”.

I know that this took a rather gloomy and dark turn, you expected to know the best place to sit and ended up even more scared. Therefore, I’ve got some great news for you. Your chances of dying on an air travel accident is incredibly small that you don’t even need to worry about it!

Flying is actually one of the safest methods of travel sitting at a probability of 1 in in 9821 chance of dying on an air travel incident. This is less than 0.01%! Pair that with the probability of fatalities occurring in each position of the aircraft, the chances are so low.

In fact, the probability of fatalities due to car accidents are 1 in 112, as a pedestrian it is 1 in 700 while on a motorbike its 1 in 900. With technology developing day by day, you can also be more assured that safety will increase over time as airline companies account to more safety measures in their aircrafts.


Our 14DAYPILOT administrator is an active aviation blogger who has high interest and expectations for the aviation industry.  Always up to date with the latest aviation news, our admin aims to provide the best content on our website to help all pilots alike.  We aim to provide flight training guidance and with information related to flying school materials and tips involved how to pass the check ride for all students.