But given that they do still happen, it makes sense to come prepared.

What a passenger does in those final minutes before a plane crashes could be crucial for their survival.

Dave Inch, a captain of a Boeing 787 – planes used by the likes of American Airlines and Air Canada – has shared his advice for what to do if a plane is going down.

Speaking on the information sharing forum Quora, Mr Inch revealed his tips for improving your chances of survival.

First of all, passengers should secure their general person in preparation for a crash landing.

He said: "Remove everything sharp from your pockets,  loosen your belt and remove your tie or scarf and remove high heeled shoes.

"Take glasses off for landing so they don't fly off and are available to help you see your way out if you need them.

"Know where your closest exit is and a backup for the type of landing [as] some exits can't be used in water landings.

"Count the number of rows to those exits and try to identify any protrusions that you might use to find them if the cabin is full of smoke."

Even though there is likely to be an air of panic and chaos in the cabin, Mr Inch says that it is crucial to listen to the flight attendant briefing.

He said: "Follow the instructions of the flight attendants in their pre-landing briefing.

"If everyone is on the same page and understands what is expected of them, people will be working together to get everyone out.

"Don't waste your time taking video with your camera…. listen and pay attention.

"If you survive with a video, it's cool. If you die because you were more interested in taking a video than paying attention, it's not so cool."

After the plane has landed, travellers should then resist the temptation to run for the exit and wait in their seat until instructed.

Mr Inch: "Stay in your seat until instructed. Do not open a door or window exit without direct instructions from a flight attendant.

"Have a piece of cloth (preferably damp) to assist in breathing if there is smoke – if there is smoke during evacuation, stay as low as possible."

"If [it's] a water landing, do not  inflate your life vest until you are at the doorway – if you inflate it and the aircraft fills with water, you will get trapped on the ceiling and not be able to swim underwater to get out.

"If this happens, get out of your life vest to be able to swim out and hang onto someone once out. Life vests easily buoy 2 people."

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