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Easier way to survive a parachute failure

Surviving a Parachute Failure.

By Akanni Adedamola Published about a year ago 5 min read

In the midst of a suspended state, hovering more than three and a half kilometers above the Earth's surface, the door to retreat firmly shuts. Yet, with determination and courage, you dare to take the daring plunge from the aircraft, embracing the breathtaking vista of the Earth beneath you. A flicker of hope flickers to life in the depths of uncertainty. However, as you reach for salvation by tugging the cord to unfurl your parachute, the universe conspires against you, and your worst nightmares manifest as a failure in the parachute's deployment. In an instant, you're thrust into an unstoppable freefall, hurtling towards the ground at an astonishing speed, clocking in at approximately 200 kilometers per hour. With mere seconds remaining before a perilous impact, the predicament appears dire and unforgiving. Is there any conceivable way to escape the clutches of this calamitous plight?

A glimmer of solace lies in the fact that the odds of a parachute malfunctioning are slim, with a mere one in one thousand chance. Thus, though it seems an overwhelmingly hopeless situation, survival after a parachute failure remains within the realm of possibility. Unveiling this slender chance of survival is contingent upon how you react when confronted with this life-and-death emergency. In this precarious juncture, the positioning of your body and the decisions you make become the cornerstones of your fate. The key to evading oblivion hinges upon a sequence of life-saving choices of those fleeting moments where seconds feel like eternities.

Expert skydivers emphasize that decelerating your descent stands as the initial imperative. Similar to numerous survival scenarios, the wisdom lies in slowing down of your breathing, your thoughts, and ultimately, your fall. The adaptation of your body into an "x" shape comes into play and outstretching your arms and legs, tilting your chest toward the ground, and arching your back and head upward. This deliberate configuration maximizes air resistance, impeding your acceleration, and buying you invaluable moments to strategize your landing.

Nonetheless, landing in water, despite its apparent allure as a cushioned surface, is perilous. Water, like concrete, barely compresses upon impact, transforming what seems gentle into an unforgiving collision. Even if you align your body to minimize damage, the risk of being rendered unconscious underwater poses a grave danger. An alternative, then, is to shift horizontally away from water, steering yourself toward safer landing targets.

Using a skydiving technique called "tracking," drawing your limbs inward against your body enables you to guide your fall in a chosen direction. Optimal landing spots include swamps, snow-covered expanses, or densely wooded areas, as they extend the deceleration period, lessening the potentially lethal g-force upon impact. Failing the presence of such locations, large structures like rooftops or buses emerge as makeshift cushions, attempting to mitigate the force of your fall.

As the inevitable rendezvous with the ground approaches, the importance of adopting a specific landing posture can't be overstated. Pointing your toes toward the ground and landing on the balls of your feet might seem excruciating, but it grants your body an extended window to decelerate. Sacrificing your legs to shield the rest of your body, the long bones absorb a considerable portion of the impact energy before fracturing.

In the seconds leading to contact with terra firma, assuming a protective posture becomes paramount. Lowering your head with interlocked fingers shielding it, and positioning your elbows in front of your face serves as a barrier against severe head trauma in the leading cause of fatality in such plummeting mishaps.

Upon landing, the imperative to ascertain your whereabouts and swiftly seek assistance arises. Resourcefulness, presence of mind, and determination become your allies in navigating this dire situation. Though daunting, hope mustn't wane. By arming yourself with knowledge, mastering crucial techniques, and making decisive choices, the glimmer of survival shines brighter. Stay composed, remain resolute, and you might yet emerge alive from this harrowing ordeal of a testament to human adaptability and resilience amidst the most precarious of circumstances.

The initial step you should take is to decelerate your descent. As with many survival scenarios, slowing everything down becomes pivotal. By consciously controlling your breathing and avoiding hyperventilation, you'll enhance your ability to focus. Furthermore, altering the speed of your fall becomes crucial to avoid a disastrous impact. To achieve this, assume an "x" shape with your body, spreading out your arms and legs, angling your chest downward, and arching your back and head upward. This configuration maximizes air resistance, effectively decelerating your plummet and providing you with a few more seconds to assess your landing options.

Landing in water may appear to be a softer alternative, akin to a giant cushion. Nevertheless, it's an illusion. Water doesn't compress much, which means that hitting a lake would be akin to colliding with concrete. While positioning yourself correctly might mitigate some damage, the risk of being knocked unconscious underwater is too perilous. Therefore, it's best to seek other landing possibilities.

Moving horizontally through the air away from water and towards a safer landing target requires employing a skydiving technique called "tracking." By drawing your limbs inward against your body, you can maneuver and steer your fall in the desired direction. Optimal landing spots include swamps, snow-covered areas, or forested regions. These environments extend the deceleration time, significantly reducing the potentially lethal g-force upon impact. Should these options not be within sight, large structures like rooftops or buses might serve as makeshift cushions, breaking your fall and absorbing some of the energy.

As the moment of impact approaches, it becomes essential to adopt a specific landing posture. Pointing your toes towards the ground and landing on the balls of your feet may seem agonizing, but this strategy allows your body more time to slow down upon impact. The long bones in your legs will absorb a considerable amount of the energy before fracturing, sacrificing your lower limbs to safeguard the rest of your body.

Right before touchdown, assuming a protective posture for your head and neck becomes critical. By placing your head down with your fingers interlocked behind it and your elbows pointed in front of your face, you shield the most vulnerable areas from severe head trauma it’s a common cause of fatality in falling accidents.

After making the landing, the immediate priority is to ascertain your location and seek help as soon as possible. This requires resourcefulness and quick thinking, but it's essential for your survival.

Though this may seem like an insurmountable challenge, the possibility of surviving a fall without a parachute exists through a combination of knowledge, technique, and decision-making. By understanding how to react in such an emergency and implementing the best practices, you can increase your chances of emerging alive from this harrowing situation. So, stay calm, focused, and resilient it could be the key to staying alive until help arrives.

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    AAWritten by Akanni Adedamola

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