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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    I'm hoping to get some info on the dynamics of airplane accidents and how this impacts FF v. RF toddlers. My kids ALWAYS RF in a car, but I've been thinking of FF on the plane. I know plane crashes are incredibly rare, and of course, some are unsurvivable, but for incidents that occur upon take off and landing, does RF a toddler make a real difference?

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member lovemybabybug's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    I would like to know this also. We are going on an 11 hr flight, and as much as I would unsderstand if there was a child RF behind me, I would really hate not being able to recline my seat the whole flight, so I would like to be considerate to the person in front of us if it's at all safe for my child.
    My Baby Cakes
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  4. #3
    Admin - CPS Technician LISmama810's Avatar
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    In a case where there were a sudden change in forward momentum (aborted takeoff, especially) there would be some benefit to rear-facing. How much? I don't know.

    Personally, I'm fine forward-facing a kid over 12-18 months on a plane. Yes, takeoffs and landings can be an issue, but my bigger concern is turbulence (where RF vs FF probably doesn't make a ton of difference) and the restraining of them in general.

    I'm flying in August with my daughter who will be 29 months at the time and I'm not even going to attempt to install her seat RF on the plane.

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  6. #4
    Carseat Crazy mimieliza's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    If the child is the correct age/weight to FF in the convertible seat, it is fine! The odds of a plane "crash" of some sort are so incredibly minuscule. The car seat is to keep your child restrained in case the plane quickly loses altitude or hits serious turbulence. Things get tossed all over the place in that situation, I wouldn't think that RF vs. FF would really matter, the dynamics are so completely different from car crash dynamics.
    michelle mama to
    dd 10.30.06 graco connext & recaro performance booster
    ds 5.4.10 sunshine kids radian xtsl & graco nautilus safety surround
    riding safely in a 2014 mazda 5 and a 2002 subaru forester


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  8. #5
    CPS Technician An Aurora's Avatar
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    I am super diligent in small planes (much higher rate of crashes and most are survivable) than I am in full size commercial jets. On big planes I am ok with FF past 1.5 or so, although I RFed my son when we flew last month. If it hadn't been convenient I would gave FFd.

    Posted by a robot and susceptible to unrelated and potentially inappropriate AutoCorrects.
    Anna~ RN and expired CPST (hoping to recert soon!)

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  10. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    For take-off and landing, it's exactly like the car. Rfing is by far, safer.

    But for the cruise portion of the flight, like the other mentioned, the "risk" is turbulence, not crashing. It's less dramatic but you can still get bumped. Of course, rf or ff would be the same.

    I have turned a seat around after take-off but it was an 11 1/2 hour flight so I had plenty of time to do so!
    Former Flight Attendant, 13 years, 2 companies in 5 countries
    3 trilingual, international travelers with two nationalities
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  12. #7
    CPS Fanatic vonfirmath's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    Quote Originally Posted by PollyWall View Post
    I would like to know this also. We are going on an 11 hr flight, and as much as I would unsderstand if there was a child RF behind me, I would really hate not being able to recline my seat the whole flight, so I would like to be considerate to the person in front of us if it's at all safe for my child.
    Except that reclining into a forward-facing child severely limits their space to do anything except kick the back of the chair.

    --Sarah & D.J. (3-20-04)
    DS (08/07) ~ 8 ~ 52 pound ~ Graco Highback Turbobooster -- 3rd Grade!
    DD (08/11) ~ 4 yr ~ 32 lb ~ Britax Roundabout 50, Maestro -- Pre-K!

  13. #8
    Senior Community Member InternationalMama's Avatar
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    Quote Originally Posted by vonfirmath View Post
    Except that reclining into a forward-facing child severely limits their space to do anything except kick the back of the chair.
    Yeah, and most kids will kick the back of the seat, even if accidentally. Or you will be constantly jostling it as you pick up toys that were dropped while FF. I actually think RF is sometimes more considerate to the person in front!

    FWIW, Britain says they have data that says forward-facing carseats improve safety on planes, but rear-facing carseats have not been shown to improve safety for child passengers based on their testing. That's why they don't allow rear-facing seats on their flights.
    International Mama
    Mom to Two - ERFing in a Graco My Ride 65 , Combi Coccoro, and Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL.

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  15. #9
    CPST Instructor
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    Quote Originally Posted by InternationalMama View Post
    Yeah, and most kids will kick the back of the seat, even if accidentally. Or you will be constantly jostling it as you pick up toys that were dropped while FF. I actually think RF is sometimes more considerate to the person in front!

    FWIW, Britain says they have data that says forward-facing carseats improve safety on planes, but rear-facing carseats have not been shown to improve safety for child passengers based on their testing. That's why they don't allow rear-facing seats on their flights.
    If I am comfortable having the child FF on the plane, I have often given the person in front of us the choice of whether they woudl like their seat to not be reclined or kicked during the flight. Also buying them a drink is often helpful
    Jess, CPST and mom to 6 girls
    W(7/28) is rocking an Aton, S(3) rides in a Nextfit or RXT, O(6) has a Frontier 90, the big girls (9, 11) have Monterey Boosters and incognitos, and the oldest is 15, wears a seat belt and is driving!

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  17. #10
    CPS Fanatic
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    Re: Dynamics of Survivable Plane Crashes--RF v FF

    I found that having my child rear-facing on the plane was much easier for us. My kids were able to sleep better, even though the seat was more upright than they were used to. It was also easier to interact with my children when they were rear-facing. I could look at them, talk with them, play with them, etc. When my DD was sitting ff next to me, I ended up getting a sore neck from leaning forward and turning my head towards her. That was for a 2 or 3 hr flight only!

    I definitely found that we kept more toys in the seat with us when we were ff too. So many of the toys ended up on the floor with a ff seat and I had trouble getting to them.

    We travel as a group of 4 - DH, me and our twins. We put DS ff in his seat in front of DD's seat that was rf. It worked well since DS didn't need to recline his seat.

    Melanie

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