Pilots have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Aric Jenkins
February 01, 2018

When it comes to safety during air travel, your first concern might be bumpy turbulence.

While pilots must work to insure that their flights are as smooth as possible, there are other, less obvious ways they know to stay safe on a plane — even when they’re not flying the aircrafts themselves.

John Chesire, a retired airline captain, wrote on a Quora thread reported by Business Insider that he pays special attention to each airplane’s aisles to be prepared for emergencies.

“For one thing, I always look around to find the nearest emergency exit,” he wrote.

“Then I count the number of seats between me and that exit. It only takes a quick glance. I do this so if ever necessary, I can in the dark, or under water, or if there is smoke, or if upside down, I know beforehand where the exit is, and I can blindly count the number of seats by touch to reach that emergency exit row, because I have counted them,” Chesire added. “It's quick and easy to do, every time.”

Indeed, safety experts from the Federal Aviation Administration advise flyers to count the number of rows between them and the nearest way out upon boarding the flight, according to Condé Nast Traveler.

And if you want to further protect yourself as a passenger, consider studying the safety card in your seat-back pocket. Even if you’re able to count ahead and reach the exit aisles in the event of an emergency, some exits open differently depending on the type of plane, HuffPost notes.

Last tip to prepare this kind of emergency evacuation plan: Try to remember a second and third exit from the plane in case the aisle closest to you is blocked.

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