The laws of physics some times don't make sense. Someone can die by falling off a latter or roof, but then you hear of crazy survival stories of a lady who got sucked out of an airplane and survived and wonder how that can happen.
There may be no rhyme or reason to it, because these miraculous, one-in-a-million survival stories leave us baffled at how much luck someone can have.
It's estimated that the human body reaches 99% of its low level terminal velocity after falling 1,880 feet which takes 13-14 seconds. This would result in 117-125 miles per hour at normal atmospheric pressure in a random position, but up to 185 mph in a head down position.
Luke Aikins became the first skydiver to jump from a plane without a parachute or wing-suit, and live to tell the tale. He leaped 25,000 feet using air currents around him to land safely on a high-tech 10,000 square-foot net. But he had a net. This story of a woman's amazing survival really makes us think she has a guardian angel looking over her shoulder.
When she was 22-years-old Vesna Vulovic was a flight attendant on Yugoslav Airlines DC-9 en-route from Stockholm to Belgrade.
The plane was ripped apart up in the air and she fell from the sky over Srbská Kamenice, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) on January 26, 1972.
Continue to the next page to see how far she fell.
According to the official report, an explosion tore the jetliner into pieces mid-air. At one time it was said a bomb may have been planted in to the front baggage compartment of the plane and explored on-board the aircraft. Other theories include the plane was shot down by accident by the Czechoslovak air force.
When the tail section of the aircraft landed on the snow-covered mountains, it must have landed in just the right way because she was the only survivor among the 28 passengers and crew.
She was found by a woodsman Bruno Honke, who heard her screaming in the dark.
"The man who found me he told me that I was in the middle part of the plane. I was found with my head down and my colleague on top of me. One part of my body with my leg was in the plane and my head was out of the plane. A catering trolley was pinned against my spine and kept me in the plane. The man who found me, says I was very lucky. He was with Hitler's troops as a medic during the War. He was German. He knew how to treat me at the site of the accident," she said in an interview.
Vesna holds the Guinness Book of Records, for surviving the highest fall without a parachute at 33,333 feet, entering the records in 1985.
She was in hospital for 16 months after coming out out a 27 day coma with many broken bones. She ended up breaking both her legs and was temporarily paralyzed from the waist down.
“I was broken, and the doctors put me back together again," she told the New York Times.
She never regained any memory of the accident or of her rescue.
“Nobody ever expected me to live this long,” she said.
So how did she survive?
"Nobody knows that. One of them said that I had very low blood pressure. I should never have been an air hostess in fact. I had a lot of coffee to drink before my interview, so that when I had my medical exam I passed. Maybe my low blood pressure saved me. I lost consciousness quickly and my heart did not burst," she said.
After her recovery she continued to fly with Yugoslav Airlines for 20 more years.
“People always want to sit next to me on the plane,” she said. “I am like a cat, I have had nine lives.”
Vesna passed away in her apartment in Belgrade on December 23, 2016 at the age of 66 years-old.