I have always laughed, however, at the notion of using the seat cushion as a flotation device. When, I ask, does a plane ever land on water necessitating the use of a flotation device? But, every plane has them, and every flight attendant is working hard to make sure you, the passenger, are prepared to use one, should your flight be the first of millions to make an untimely landing on water.
Well, yesterday it happened. Certainly, you've all heard that Flight 1549 (on route from New York, NY to Charlotte, NC) made an emergency landing on the Hudson River yesterday. Relieved to hear there were no casualties I scanned the photos for evidence that those thousands of hours of safety practice had finally paid off. But, no. Although there were spectacular shots of hypothermic passengers waiting to be rescued while standing knee deep on the wings of the sinking airplane, I did not see anyone clinging to their life-saving seat cushion.
In fact, one report stated that:
One ferry, the Thomas Jefferson of the company NY Waterway, arrived within minutes. Riders grabbed life vests and rope and tossed them to plane passengers in the water.Someone else had to ride in and provide flotation devices?!
I hardly think the air traffic safety board will make any alterations to their current safety practices or recommendations so I've decided to go into the business of manufacturing those flotation cushions myself. It wouldn't even matter if they don't work, no one will ever sue, they're never used.