Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Widget Atas Posting

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane - January 3, 1943 - During an air raid, B-17 bombers darken the skies over Nazi-occupiedSaint Nazaire, France. An attack from German anti-aircraft artillery rips through a gun turret on one of the planes. Thankfully the gunner, U.S. Army Air Force Staff Sergeant Alan Magee is unharmed, but his parachute has been shredded.

Suddenly more flak blows off part of the plane’s right-wing, setting the bomber aflame and sending it into a deadly tailspin. What happens next is miraculous--Magee blacks out and is thrown clear of the plane. He falls over 4 miles, some 22,000 ft (6,706 m) and lives. He crashes through the glass roof of a train station, suffering severe injuries.

However, German doctors nurse him back to health and Magee spends most of the rest of World War II as a POW. Interestingly, Sgt. Magee isn’t the only person to have to survive fall from the plane. On January 26, 1972, Vesna Vulovic, a flight attendant was the sole survivor after a bomb exploded aboard JAT Yugoslav Airlines flight JU 367.

She fell some 33,330 ft; earning a spot in the Guinness World Records for surviving the highest fall without a parachute. Also, who can forget brave Juliane Koepcke, Juliane survived an incredible 2 mile (3. 2 km) fall and then a trek through the jungle while severely injured! We don’t even think we could survive a 2-mile jog, let alone a fall…

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

How common is it to survive fall from plane though? Is there anything you can do to improve your chances of surviving? The median lethal distance for falls is four stories or about 48 feet. This means that 50% of people who fall from four stories will sustain fatal injuries. It only gets worse as height increases.

At 7 stories or 84 feet, the chance of survival is 1 in 10. So, unfortunately, the chances of survival when falling out of an airplane are pretty slim. No official statistics exist, however, according to various aviation accident websites there are less than 50 known cases of survival when falling from a plane.

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

That would include falling out of an airplane without a parachute-like Sgt. Magee or falling attached to airplane debris like Vulovic or Koepcke. If you’re gonna survive a plummet, it’s better to fall from the cruising altitude of a commercial flight which is typical around 35,000 ft rather than a shorter distance of 1,500 ft. That sounds a little crazy, but hear us out.

Falling from around 1,500 ft or a distance just a little taller than the empire state building means you’ll reach your terminal velocity before you hit the ground. As gravity pulls you toward earth, you fall faster, however at the same time your drag increases.

When downward force equals upward resistance, acceleration stops and you reach the fastest speed you will descend at or your terminal velocity. For average adult humans, this is around 120-130 mph. So the impact speed is the same whether you fall from 35,000 ft versus 1,500.

What’s different is time. 1,500 ft is going to only give you approximately 10-12seconds of freefall before impact while falling from 35,000 ft or over 6. 6 miles will give you about 3 minutes of freefall before you potentially become a pancake. Actually, before and as you fall out of the plane, if possible grab ahold of plane debris.

Becoming a ‘wreckage rider’ a term coined by Jim Hamilton, creator the Free Fall Research website, a database cataloging knew free falls, can help you survive the plunge by adding some protection and even somewhat cushioning your fall. Also, the larger surface area of the debris area increases air drag, slowing your descent.

Flight attendant Vulovic fell jammed between her seat, a catering cart, the body of another crew member and a section of the airplane. Though she was severely injured, being enclosed in debris helped to shield her from the worst of the impact. Based on statistics from plausible free fall incidents, you are more likely to survive if you’re attached to debris, than a free fall solo.

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

When free falling from 35,000 ft you have enough time to possibly make some very quick decisions on how to mitigate your impact. However, there are drawbacks to falling from such a high distance. At higher altitudes, it’s extremely cold, the temperature at 35,000 ft is often in excess of -67 F.

A reaction to the cold or rapid change in temperature as you drop is possible, however, there are no reports detailing how individuals have been affected. Frankly, the temperature is the least of your worries. At 35,000 ft oxygen is thin; it’s likely that you will experience hypoxia and spend roughly the first minute of your fall unconscious.

You might stay unconscious for the duration of your fall, and be spared the last few terrifying moments of your life, but most likely you’ll come to once you’ve fallen around 2 miles. Of course how fast you’re falling and how quickly you regain consciousness are tied to several variables that we cannot account for such as air currents, the trajectory at which you leave the plane, your mass and personal blood oxygen saturation level.

Once you awaken, you’ll have around 2 minutes left to execute any strategies for survival. The first thing you want to do is calm down. We get it, it’s extremely hard to adopt a zen-like attitude when death is most likely imminent, but take a deep breath and try anyway. Although you’ve regained consciousness, your body is still feeling the effects of hypoxia.

If you panic, it’s really easy to hyperventilate, slip back into a blackout and lose valuable free fall seconds you could be using to mitigate injury or fatality. You need all your wits about you to focus on planning your landing; you cannot do that if you’re freaking out.

Great, now that you’ve taken a split second and gotten ahold of yourself, the next thing you want to do is attempt to slow your fall and gain a few extra seconds of precious freefall time. A good position to create wind resistance is the classic skydiver's pose called the box’. To assume, flip onto your stomach and arch your back, lifting your head and shoulders slightly.

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

Spread your arms and legs equal distance. Bend your arms at the elbow. Also bend your knees at about a 45-degree angle, leaving your lower legs slightly extended into the wind. Not only will this position help to slow your descent a little, in skydiving it’s considered a neutral, stable freefall position from which other maneuvers are performed.

From the ‘box’, you can move into the slow down position: lower your head, turning it to one side, straighten your arms and further extend your legs, spreading out into an ‘X’. Flatten your torso, point your feet and toes as much as possible and tense your muscles, deliberately pushing against the air.

This position provides the greatest resistance possible. If you start to wobble or flip, return to the sky diver’s box posture, before trying the slow fall position again. Now take a quick look around, it’s unlikely, but you may have a second chance at grabbing ahold of some plane debris to cushion your fall.

If suitable wreckage is falling nearby, you might want to try to angle yourself towards it so you can grab on. Skydivers from formations before deploying their parachutes, so it is possible to steer towards and grab ahold of objects while falling. However, maneuvering during skydiving does take practice, and generally, it’s not something you do on your first jump.

Remember time is at a premium and it’s better to get yourself in the best position possible for impact rather than crash land in a poor position because you were chasing debris. Whether maneuvering to reach debris or aiming for a landing spot, here are some basic moves for steering.

From the box position, to turn yourself left, deflect more air off your right arm than your left by moving your left arm down and your right arm up in equal proportion. Imagine an airplane banking--that’s exactly what you’re doing. To turn right, do the reverse: right arm down, left arm up. You’ll continue to turn according to your arm actions until you resume the neutral box position.

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

Another common skydiving move is tracking or moving horizontally while free falling. For a basic tracking stance, from the box position straighten your legs and arms. Bring your arms to your sides and rotate them out slightly, so your palms are facing downwards. Flatten your back, lower your head and curl your body in just a little.

Frankly, you’re not going to have much time to think about proper skydiving form, so do whatever movement that seems to alter the direction of the drag force acting on your body to try to produce the desired motion to guide yourself. Your next step is to look down for a suitable landing area.

It’s best if you can land on or in anything that offers give such as a tree canopy, haystack or snowdrift. Swampland or grass is better than the plain ground. Even power lines are preferable to the ground because they break your fall. Any ground cover that spreads your impact over a longer period, or absorbs it in stages, could mean the difference between a couple of broken bones and severe trauma to internal organs.

Try not to land in water, it can be as dangerous as landing on concrete. Firstly, you have no way of determining depth. Even when the water is deep enough for landing, once you break the surface of the water, your velocity drops almost instantaneously to zero, exerting strong g-forces on your body.

If you must land in water, try to minimize the impact by assuming a posture that causes a minimum surface area of your body to bear the brunt of the force. That would be a pencil dive position. Jump feet first with your arms held tightly to your sides and your feet pressed together and pointed downward; you’re striving to enter the water in a straight, vertical line. Also clench your muscles, especially your butt unless you want a painful and damaging forced enema.

Among experienced cliff divers injuries such as broken bones, spinal compression and concussions occur. Even if you survive the dive into the water with only a few broken bones, you may be stunned and slow to respond. Watch out! It’s easy to ingest water and possibly drown. To minimize body impact on landing, many researchers think the best posture is to assume is one similar to a parachute landing fall.

How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

That means landing on the balls of your feet with legs together and your knees a little bent. Immediately allow your body to crumple slightly backward and into a horizontal position while turning towards one side of your body as determined by dominant directional speed.

Basically you’re attempting to distribute the force of the landing step by step up your torso along with five points of body contact with the ground: feet, calf, thigh, hip/buttock, and side of the back. Also, you should tuck your chin and wrap your arms around your head for protection as you land.

Furthermore, relax your body as much as possible, this allows you to use your body’s natural elasticity to help slow things down over a greater unit of time. Ultimately you’re sacrificing the long bones in your legs which can absorb a large amount of impact energy before fracturing for the good of your torso. No matter how you land, of course, you want to try to protect your head and neck as much as possible. Landing headfirst almost certainly guarantees death. - How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane

Post a Comment for "How to Survive Falling Out of an Airplane"