According to a April 2007 report in O, The Oprah Magazine, you're safer when you board an airplane than when you get behind the wheel of a car. The chance that you'll be killed in a crash in any given year is only about one in 11 million for planes; it's one in 5,000 for automobiles.
Despite the odds, airline emergencies do happen. If your plane is at risk, take the usual precautions—tighten your seat belt and follow the instructions of the flight attendant, says Todd Curtis, founder of AirSafe.com. when asked if there's a section of the plane where the odds of survival are greater, Curtis says: "Tell me the kind of plane you're in and the kind of accident you're going to have, and I'll tell you where to sit."
But, Curtis adds, the middle seating area near the wing is the strongest and most structurally stable part of most aircraft. And at the very least, you'll feel less turbulence when you sit there.
It Happened to Me...
In October 2000, music producer John Diaz was wrapping up a business trip in Asia when bad weather, caused by an approaching typhoon, hit Taiwan. Despite heavy rain and strong winds, John's flight, Singapore Airlines Flight 006, stuck to the scheduled departure time.
As the wheels began to leave the runway, the plane hit a barrier. Then, a second collision ripped a hole in the plane and fiery jet fuel filled the cabin. John, who was sitting in the first row, shielded himself with a leather carry-on bag and escaped through an exit door. In all, the crash killed 83 people. John was one of 96 passengers to survive.