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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 6:48 am

Anyone remember a movie called "Drop Zone" with Wesley Snipes & Gary Busey? In it I believe Snipes was escorting a Terrorist on a flight and the "bad guys" escaped by parachuting from the jet at 30,000 feet (or more). Is it really possible to jump from a jet that high and actually live? Just wondering...
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens

RE: Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 7:19 am

I dont think it is possible to survive. First of all you're too high to breathe and your body isnt as pressurized as an airplane so your body would encounter extreme pain from pressure.
David L
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 7:53 am

I'm not sure the pressure would be much of an issue, assuming we're not talking about explosive decompression, it's more the shortage of oxygen. If you were to freefall at about 120-odd mph, the reduced oxygen would only last a couple of minutes provided you weren't kept aloft all day by updraughts. As far as I know there are fairly common safety devices which open parachutes below a preset altitude (for people plummeting towards the ground thinking "I'm sure there's something else I have to do") so even if you were still a bit groggy you could get a soft landing. I don't know about leaving a fast-moving jet through a side door though.

The bottom line is that I don't really know (can you tell?). I suspect it's possible, just not recommended.

Of course, if anyone REALLY knows...

RE: Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 9:38 am

I think it´s possible, at least I have seen a documentation about the NAVY Seals once. They do high altitude jumps in their training, but not without additional oxygen.
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RE: Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 9:42 am

SR-71 crew are trained and able to eject at 100000ft+ and 2000mph+, but they are wearing spacesuits compareable to what astronauts wear and have specially designed parachutes, ejection seats, life support units, etc
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RE: Movie Vs. Real Life

Sat Jul 10, 1999 2:01 pm

I was at Air Disaster Database and came across a case where a flight attendant on a JAT Airlines DC-9 that was bombed by a terroist group at 33,000 feet in 1972. The flight attendant survived the free fall, with a broken legs and was paralized from the waist down. It hard to believe that a human body can survive a free fall from 33,000 feet. This has to be a record or close to it for the highest freefall and surviving.