Concerned that you might fall out of a plane without a parachute?

29 12 2004

Here’s an interesting slant on that fear of having your plane cease flying while you, without a parachute, have to take a flying leap.

Some tips:

First of all, you’re starting off a full mile higher than Everest, so after a few gulps of disappointing air you’re going to black out. This is not a bad thing. If you have ever tried to keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you know what I mean. This brief respite from the ambient fear and chaos will come to an end when you wake up at about 15,000 feet. Here begins the final phase of your descent, which will last about a minute. It is a time of planning and preparation. Look around you. What equipment is available? None? Are you sure? Look carefully. Perhaps a shipment of folded parachutes was in the cargo hold, and the blast opened the box and scattered them. One of these just might be within reach. Grab it, put it on, and hit the silk. You’re sitting pretty.

Much will depend on your attitude. Don’t let negative thinking ruin your descent. If you find yourself dwelling morbidly on your discouraging starting point of seven miles up, think of this: Thirty feet is the cutoff for fatality in a fall. That is, most who fall from thirty feet or higher die. Thirty feet! It’s nothing! Pity the poor sod who falls from such a “height.” What kind of planning time does he have?

Thanks Metafilter, for pointing me in that direction.

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