Can you survive falling out of a plane?

This seemingly innocent question has more than one answer. Common sense tells us it is impossible to survive falling out of a plane> But, what if the plane was just sitting on the runway and you fell off?

There have been many instances where a person falls off a plane and still survives despite not having a parachute. How is that even possible?

Assume you are about 12,000 – 16,000 feet in the air and you jump off without a parachute. Here is what you need to do to survive the fall.

  1. Stop free falling by extending your arms and legs. At free fall, your speed will be about 125 miles per hour. But when you extend your feet and arms, it provides more area of resistance and you get about 60 seconds when falling from 12,000 feet.
  2. Locate the nearest water source and start steering yourself towards it. A hard impact on the water body at 125 miles an hour is no joke, but it is better than hitting the pavement. The deeper the water body, the higher your chance of survival. About 12-15 feet of water is a safe bet. As you get close to the water body, assume the dive position to minimise the entry area. Don’t keep your arms and legs extended while entering the water body.
  3. In case you don’t have a lake, river or other water bodies, look for a rooftop swimming pool and hope it is a deep one.
  4. If neither of these are present, trees with thin branches or heavy snow is another way to survive a fall from the plane. Falling through the branches will reduce your speed enough to minimise the impact when you hit the ground.

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