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How to survive if you fall at 190 km per hour from a height of 10,000 meters and you have three minutes left


You are at an altitude of ten kilometers, and you fall without a parachute. You have little chance, but a small number of people, finding themselves in a similar situation, managed to survive.
6:59:00, altitude 10,000 m

You went to bed early yesterday and you had an early flight today. You fall asleep shortly after takeoff. And suddenly you wake up abruptly - cold air whistles around you and a noise is heard. Terrible and loud. Where I am? - you think. Where is the plane?

You are at an altitude of 10 km. One. And you fall.

Unpleasant situation. It's time to concentrate on the positive aspects (yes, except for the one that you survived after the plane was destroyed). Gravity is working against you, but another force is on your side: time. Believe it or not, this situation is better than the one in which you fell from the balcony of the top floor of the hotel, taking too much on your chest.

Well, at least it will get better. At such altitudes, there is not enough oxygen, and hypoxia begins. Soon you will lose consciousness, and fly at least one and a half kilometers until you wake up again. And then remember this text. After all, your next stop is the surface of the Earth.

Of course, the chances of surviving a fall from a ten-kilometer height are extremely small, but once you find yourself in a similar situation, you will not lose anything if you understand it well. You can fall from an airplane in two ways. The first is a free fall, without any protection or means to slow down the descent. The second is to become a "wreckage rider," as the Massachusetts amateur historian Jim Hamilton, who has put together a page of free fall research, called the situation. It is something like online databases in all cases of people falling from a height, after which they survived.

In the second case, you can gain an advantage if you cling to some part of the collapsed plane. In 1972, a Serbian stewardess Vesna Vulovic was on the plane McDonnell Douglas DC-9 flying over the territory Czechoslovakia , and suddenly exploded in the air. She fell from a height of 10,160 meters, being sandwiched between the seat, the food cart, part of the fuselage and the body of another crew member. She landed on a snow-covered slope, and before a full stop slid off it. As a result, she suffered serious injuries, but survived.

Surviving a fall, being surrounded by objects that slightly protect you, turned out more often than surviving a fall without foreign objects. The famous case of Alan Magee, the hero of the American collection of surprising facts "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" In 1943, his B-17 aircraft was shot down over France. A pilot from New Jersey fell from a height of 7,000 m and collided with the roof of a railway station, after which he fell inside. He was subsequently taken prisoner by German troops, amazed that he had survived.

Whether you are clinging to a wreckage of the fuselage, or falling freely, what interests you most is the concept of top speed. Under the influence of gravity, you fall faster and faster. But, like any moving object, you experience air resistance - the more the faster you move. When the force of gravity equals the resistance of the air, the acceleration stops - you reach the maximum.

Depending on your size and weight, and factors such as air density, your top speed will be around 190 km / h. You will reach it surprisingly quickly - having flown only about 450 m (the height of the Ostankino tower is 540 m). Equal speed means you hit the sidewalk with equal force. The difference is only in the period of time. Jumping off the Ostankino tower, you will fall in 13 seconds.

After you get off the plane, you will have so much time that you can read almost the entire article.
7:00:20, height 6700 m

You have come down low enough to breathe calmly. Your consciousness has returned abruptly. At this height, it remains about 2 minutes before falling. Your plan is simple: you need to enter the Zen state and decide to survive. You will realize that, as Hamilton pointed out, "It is not the fall that kills you, but the landing."

Without losing your presence of mind, you take aim.

But what? The fall of Magi on the stone floor of the French train station was softened by its glass roof. Glass is injurious, but it also helps you. So is the grass. Haystacks and bushes softened the fall of people, who then wondered that they had survived. Trees are fine too, although you can also skewer the tree. Snow? Of course. Swamps? A dirty surface covered with vegetation is even better.

Hamilton described one case with a parachutist who, after the complete failure of the parachute, escaped by springs from the wires of a power line. But water is a terrible choice, despite a popular misconception. Liquid, like concrete, does not compress. Falling into the ocean is essentially the same as falling onto the sidewalk. Only the sidewalk will not "part, swallowing your shattered body," as Hamilton explains.

Having chosen the target, you can proceed to the correct position of the body. To slow down your descent, portray a skydiver. Spread your arms and legs, turn your chest to the ground, arch your back and head up. You will increase friction and it will be easier for you to maneuver. But don't relax - this position is not for landing.

Unfortunately for you in this situation, the question of the best landing position remains a matter of controversy. A 1942 study in the journal War Medicine noted that "pressure distribution and compensation play a large role in reducing injury." Recommendation: landing with the entire body area. However, a 1963 report by the Federal Aviation Agency argues that going into the classic jumper pose - feet together, heels up, knees and hips squeezed - increases the odds of survival. The same study noted that acrobatics and wrestling skills help humans survive. Martial arts are recognized as especially useful for falling on hard surfaces. "The holder of a black belt can, according to reviews, break a tree with one blow," write the authors, who believe that such skills will be useful in the situation under consideration.

The best lesson in trial and error will be the story of Japanese skydiver Yasuhiro Kubo, a world record holder in the Banzai category of skydiving. This parachutist threw a parachute out of the plane, then jumped after him, waited as long as possible, then caught up with him, put on and pulled the ring. In 2000, Kubo jumped from a height of 3000 meters, and fell 50 seconds before grabbing his parachute. A safer teaching method is to use wind tunnel simulators, which can be found in various amusement parks.

But these methods will not help you train your most difficult task - landing. To do this, you can consider this option - although not to say that we recommend it - like jumping from the highest bridge in the world (at the time of construction), viaduct millau ... One of its pillars has a height of 341 meters, and an elastic arable land is located below.

If you have to land in water, you need to make a decision very quickly. A study of cases where people survived a jump from a bridge shows that the "legs forward, extended" pose ("pencil" or "soldier") maximizes the chances of survival. At the same time, the famous rock jumpers in Acapulco [professional artists participating in the daily show of jumping from a height of 30-40 m into the water in the Mexican town of La Quebrada / approx. per.] prefer the head-first position, with palms together and outstretched arms to protect the head. Whichever you choose, first hold the parachutist position as long as possible. Then, if entering the water with feet forward is inevitable, the most important thing in this situation, for reasons both obvious and indecent, will be to squeeze the buttocks harder.

Whatever the surface, you definitely shouldn't land on your head. In a 1977 Free Fall Shock Transfer Study, researchers at the Highway Safety Institute found that the leading cause of death in falls — and they studied falls from buildings, bridges, and into elevator shafts — was damage to the back of the head. If you have to fall horizontally, sacrifice beauty and land on your face, not the back of your head. You may also want to consider bringing safety goggles with you when flying - Hamilton says that otherwise it will be difficult for you to aim when you fall, because the strong airflow will make your eyes watery.
7:02:19, altitude 300 m

Given your initial height, by the time you read this far in the article, you will already be flying towards the ground.

Approx. per .: the author of the original bases the calculations on the volume of the English text and an average reading speed of 250 words per minute; in fact, the number of words in the original text of the article at this point is close to 1250, which would take 5 minutes to read, and we are talking about a three-minute drop. There are about the same number of words in Russian translation by this time, but the average reading speed in Russian is estimated at 180 words per minute. It's still better to read this article before you fall from a height.

We have already covered everything you need, so you can concentrate on the main task. However, if anything, here's some additional information - although, at this point, it will not help you much.

Statistically, in this situation, a member of the crew of an aircraft, a child, or a passenger on a military aircraft have more chances. Over the past forty years, there have been about ten plane crashes with a single survivor. Among the cases described, four people were related to the crew of the aircraft, such as the flight attendant Vulovich, and seven were under the age of 18. These include two-year-old Mohammed el-Fate Osman, who took a ride on a wreck of a Boeing jet that crashed in Sudan in 2003.

Perhaps team members survive more often because their belts work better. But about why children manage to survive more often while there are disputes. In a study by the Federal Aviation Agency, it is noted that in children, especially under 4 years of age, the skeleton is more flexible, the muscles are more relaxed, and the proportion of subcutaneous fat in relation to body weight is greater - this helps to protect the internal organs. Small people - when the head is lower than the back of the front seat - are better protected from the wreckage of a crashing plane. Less weight reduces the ultimate fall rate, and less body area reduces the chances of bumping into something when falling.
7:02:25, height 0 m

Earth. You, as a Shaolin master, are calm and prepared. Hit. You are alive. What's next? If you're lucky, the injuries will not be very serious, and you can get up and smoke a cigarette in honor of this, like the British tail gunner Nicholas Alkemaid in 1944. He fell from a height of 5500 m and landed on the snow-covered bushes. But most likely, you will have hard work ahead of you.

Let's take an example Julianne Koepke ... On Christmas Eve 1971, her Lockheed Electra exploded over the Amazon. The next morning, a 17-year-old German woman woke up in the jungle, still strapped to her seat and surrounded by a pile of fallen Christmas gifts. Alone, with injuries, she managed to escape from the thoughts of the death of her mother, who was sitting next to her. Instead, she remembered the advice of her father, a biologist: Lost in the jungle, in search of civilization, follow the water. Köpke moved from small streams to larger ones. She walked around the crocodiles, and poked a stick in the mud in front of her to scare away the electric rays. During the fall, she lost one shoe and her skirt was torn. The only food she found was a bag of candy, and she only had to drink dirty water. She had to ignore the broken collarbone and open wounds infested with maggots.

On the tenth day, she sat down to rest on the banks of the Shibonya River. When she got up, she suddenly saw a canoe tied to the shore. It took her many hours to climb the high bank, where there was a hut, in which the woodcutters found her the next day. In Peru, this case was considered a miracle, and according to statistics, there really was not without divine intervention. According to the Geneva Air Crash Registry Office, between 1940 and 2008, 118,934 people died in 15,463 accidents.

Even if you include in the list of surviving paratroopers, the number of confirmed or at least convincing cases of survival at the Hamilton base goes to 157 people - of which only 42 cases occurred when falling from an altitude of more than 3 km.

However, Koepke never believed that survival depends only on fate. She can still remember the first moments of falling from the plane, when she was spinning in her chair. In this situation, she did not control anything, but after she woke up, everything was in her hands. “I was able to make the right decision - to leave the scene of the accident,” she says now. And thanks to the experience she gained while working at her parents' research station, she says, “I didn't feel fear. I knew where to go in the forest, how to walk along the river, where I had to swim side by side with such dangerous animals as caimans and piranhas. "

Or by this time you have not slept for a long time, and the wheels of the plane have safely touched the landing strip. You understand that the likelihood of a commercial plane crash is incredibly small, and that the information you just read is unlikely to be useful to you.
Skull 23 march 2021, 13:15
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