Falling From The Sky: Passenger Lives to Tell Falling 9,800ft & Stranded in The Rain Forest

From mid-air plane collisions to passengers falling from the skies and surviving. Stories of incredible tales of survival.
Site Admin
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Earth

Falling From The Sky: Passenger Lives to Tell Falling 9,800ft & Stranded in The Rain Forest

Post by planeanxiety » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:47 pm

Koepcke's mother Maria was working in Lima when Koepcke graduated from high school. Maria wanted to return to Panguana on 19 or 20 December 1971, but Koepcke wished to attend her graduation ceremony on 22 December. Maria agreed and they instead scheduled a flight on Christmas Eve. All flights were booked, aside from one with Líneas Aéreas Nacionales S.A. (LANSA). LANSA had a poor reputation and Koepcke's father Hans-Wilhelm had previously urged Maria to avoid flying with the airline.

The LANSA Lockheed L-188 Electra OB-R-941 commercial airliner was struck by lightning during a severe thunderstorm and broke up in mid-air, disintegrating 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) above the ground. Koepcke, still strapped into her seat, survived the fall to Earth with a broken collarbone, a gash to her right arm, and her right eye swollen shut. "I was definitely strapped in [the airplane seat] when I fell," she said later. "It must have turned and buffered the crash; otherwise I wouldn't have survived."

Koepcke's first priority was to find her mother, who had been seated next to her, but her search was unsuccessful. She later discovered that her mother had initially survived the crash, but died from her injuries several days later.

Koepcke found some sweets which became her only food. After looking for her mother and other passengers, she found a small stream. She waded through knee-high water downstream from her landing site, relying on the survival principle her father had taught her, that tracking downstream should eventually lead to civilization.

After ten days, she found a boat moored near a shelter, and found the boat's fuel tank still partly full.[5] Koepcke poured the gasoline on her wounds, an action which succeeded in removing the maggots from her arm. She later recounted her necessary efforts that day: "I remember having seen my father when he cured a dog of worms in the jungle with gasoline. I got some gasoline and poured it on myself. I counted the worms when they started to slip out. There were 35 on my arm. I remained there but I wanted to leave. I didn't want to take the boat because I didn't want to steal it."

Because it was already dark, Koepcke slept in the tiny shelter, and in the morning a small group of local fishermen discovered her and brought her to their village. The next day a local pilot volunteered to fly her to a hospital in Pucallpa. The day after arriving at the hospital, Koepcke saw her father again: overcome with emotions, their reunion was "a moment without words".

After she recovered from her injuries, Koepcke helped search parties to locate the crash site and the bodies of the victims. On 12 January 1972, the search parties discovered Maria Koepcke's body.

Movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0295035/

juliane-koepcke.jpg (122.16 KiB) Viewed 506 times