How to Survive a Fall From Extreme Heights When It Seems That You Have No Chance

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If you fall from an airplane

It will take you about 3-6 minutes to fall from the height of 33,000 feet, and the fall itself will have the speed of 120 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the chances of surviving are incredibly slim, but it’s still worth trying to save your life.

  • First of all, keep in mind that people who managed to survive sat in the tail part of the plane.
  • So, if something happens to your plane, like it explodes or starts falling into pieces right in the air: first, you’ll hear a deafening roar and feel blistering cold as it begins to fall. There’s very littleoxygen at these heights, so you’ll probably pass out. However, when you descend to the lower layers of the atmosphere, you might regain consciousness.
  • Try to curl up in your seat or climb on some wreckage; this will increase your chances for survival. This is what Larisa Savitskaya, a woman from the USSR who stayed alive after falling from a height of 3 miles, said about the plane crash she became the victim of:

The wings of AN-24 were torn away along with the fuel tanks and the roof. I was sleeping at that moment. I remember a terrible blow and a burn; the temperature fell from 77 to minus 22 degrees F. There was a screaming and a howling of the wind. I was thrown into the aisle and found myself in the tail part of the plane. Suddenly I remembered one Italian movie, Miracles Still Happen. The main character of that movie saved herself in a plane crash by curling up in her seat. Somehow I got into a chair. I didn’t think I’d survive, I just wanted to die painlessly. There was a green flash and a blow. I landed in the forest falling on young trees, and that saved my life. Larisa Savitskaya

There are twice as few survivors after a solo free fall than those who were falling clinging to some wreckage. One of such people was a military pilot Alan Magee. In 1943, he fell from his aircraft that was flying at the height of 20,000 feet, and survived after crashing through the roof of a train station. If you happen to be in such a situation, remember this advice:

  • Take the pose of a falling skydiver, spread your legs and arms. This way you’ll slow down your fall.

  • Try to direct your flight: to move backwards, bend your legs as if you want to touch your head with your heels. To move to the right, lower your right shoulder and bend your body to the right.
  • Try not to land on water even if you’re a good diver. When a person falls from an extreme height, the impact from hitting the water will be the same as colliding with concrete. Direct your fall toward a field, some plants, trees, or bushes. On the other hand, there’s a chance that you’ll be pierced with a stick or branch. The best alternative would be snow or a haystack.

  • After you survive the landing, the most challenging part will start. You’ll have to stay alive and find people. 17-year-old Juliane Koepke managed to find her way out of the Amazon jungles after falling from the height of 10,000 feet. She had her collarbone broken, lots of minor wounds and abrasions, and only a pack of candy to eat. But eventually after 9 days of wandering, she found people.

Of course, except for this knowledge, you have to have luck on your side too. But since you’ve read this article, you can be sure that your chances for survival have significantly increased.

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