Employee Engagement & Company Culture | TINYpulse

Stage a Plane Crash for Team-Building. Seriously.

Written by Robby Berman | Apr 21, 2017 12:00:00 PM

Nothing bonds people like cheating death together, right? The intensity of overcoming terrifying odds and surviving disaster can’t help but foster deep and profound connections. That’s the idea, anyway, behind a new leadership and team-building curriculum being offered by Survival Systems USA. The danger isn’t real, but the bonding could well be.

It’s a new twist for a company that provides safety and survival education, with staff experts offering “post-incident” survival training. According to its website, “whether it’s an aircraft ditched in coastal waters, vessel abandonment in the open ocean, or a motor vehicle submerged, we teach you the skills you need to perform surface abandonment, underwater egress, and to survive in an inhospitable environment, land and sea, with limited resources until rescued.” The company’s clients have included the New York Police Department, the FBI, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, the DEA, the Army, and the National Guard.

“We’ve seen residual effects along the way: improved morale, self-esteem, capabilities people didn’t know they had,” company president Maria C. Hanna told the New York Times, adding that until recently, “we’ve never stopped long enough to say, ‘You know, this is something that can appeal to a market in a different way, using the tools from aviation to help people develop themselves.’” The new team-building course is a natural progression for the company.

The Times followed eight people through a simulated ocean plane crash in Survival Systems’ Survival Training Simulation Theater (STST).

This is the Survival Systems dunker in which people practice escaping from a submerged vehicle. This Instagram photo has the hashtag #waterupmynose.

SOURCE: Survival Systems USA Instagram

 Getting out isn’t easy, either.

SOURCE: Survival Systems USA Instagram

Here are some pictures from the New York Times article.

Survival isn’t always pretty.

SOURCE: George Etheredge/New York Times


SOURCE: George Etheredge/New York Times

Airlifted to safety.

SOURCE: George Etheredge/New York Times

Survival Systems USA continues to develop their program, and if you’d like to know more, check out their website.