View Full Version : Which accident?

30th May 2004, 21:30
An excerpt from http://www.megawhat.com.au/dor_frtvc.html :

In 1963 he was aboard a DC-8 flying from Zagreb to Rijeka when an exit burst open, sucking out 20 passengers. As the only survivor, Frano was later found in a haystack suffering from cuts, bruises, and mild amnesia.
Did the above accident actually happen or is it an urban legend? I'd like to know more about the event but found no credible record of it on the net, only a string of news articles repeating the same story, with slight variations.

30th May 2004, 22:15
The only one I recall involved a female F/A and it was a JAT DC-9, YU-AHT, 26-1-72. A bomb exploded and the tail section she was in seperated falling 35000 feet. It landed relatively smoothly on a snow covered mountain and she survived, though I don't know how extensive her injuries were. Oh, and this was in Czechoslovakia.

30th May 2004, 22:35
I use Snopes (http://www.snopes.com/) to bust hoaxes, urban myths and those pesky chain emails that run around. :D
Although a very quick check through Snopes hasn't brought this one up yet. :ok:

Notso Fantastic
30th May 2004, 23:13
I concur with avman- I remember it was allegedly a JAT DC-9 much later than 1963. A female flight attendant was alleged to have survived a major decompression and breakup in the tail section. Still not convinced about the tail though- at a busy time in the cold war there was a lot of weird publicity flying around!

henry crun
31st May 2004, 04:00
There was more than one case in WW2 of guys bailing out without their parachutes and surviving.

The height means little, a free falling body is going to reach terminal velocity quickly, so from 3,500 or 35,000ft you are going to arrive at the same speed.

Boss Raptor
31st May 2004, 08:40
01/26/1972 c 17:00

LOCATION: Near Hermsdorf, Czechoslovakia

CARRIER: JAT Yugoslav Airlines FLIGHT: 364

AIRCRAFT: Douglas DC-9-32



DETAILS: The plane crashed after the detonation of a bomb in the
forward cargo hold. A stewardess, Vesna Vulovic, fell 33,000 feet, in the tail section and although breaking both legs and being paralyzed from the waist down, survived. The bomb was believed to be placed on the plane by a Croatian extremist group.

There is one regarding a Russian passenger who was the only survivor from a midair between an AN24 and a military jet, late 80's?

Absolutely true fell from a great height...will try to dig it out

and in the recent Pulkovo Airlines crash at MOW-SVO 2 F/A's apparently 'fell 200 metres' from the tail section and survived although details are sketchy it appears they didnt 'fall' and where in the tail section which was the only part of the plane that survived the impact

Here we are AN24 Midair story


1981 fell 5,220 metres, took 8 minutes

31st May 2004, 15:28
I can recall the JAT DC9 breakup at the time (showing my age here), and seem to remember that the FA fell into a snow-covered pine forest, where the trees, snow and sloping ground managed to break her fall sufficiently. IIRC the DC-9 was routing Zagreb to Copenhagen and the explosion occurred over Czechoslovakia.

Regarding the Pulkovo IL86 accident in Moscow a couple of years ago on a positioning flight, the aircraft may have reached about 600 feet before it came down, but I believe it did not break up in the air, and the survivors were in the tail; presumably the aircraft was only at takeoff speed.

No DC-8s have been lost between Zagreb and Rijeka, in 1963 or any other year.

Boss Raptor: from my skydiving days 12,000 feet in freefall takes about 60 seconds, so I can't understand why the pax falling from 15,000 feet should have taken 8 minutes.

Boss Raptor
31st May 2004, 15:48
Because if u read the report that I linked to it is apparent she is not in freefall and actually remained in part of the fuselage for the descent

The 8 mins is rather an undefined figure but one assumes from time of impact or time of acft break up with the debris/fuselage section making a slower descent than a freefalling person - only to then have to wait 3 days for rescue...

All quite clear in the St. Petersburg Times article

Kalium Chloride
31st May 2004, 15:55
This is the fellow who supposedly was sucked out of the "DC-8"...


...I understand he survived a whole string of accidents and then wound up winning a shedload of money on the lottery.

However, I digress. I suspect that if he was flying between Zagreb and Rijeka then it was with JAT. I don't recollect JAT having DC-8s, and no DC-9s until the 1970s.

Perhaps a DC-6?

31st May 2004, 16:46
Kalium Chloride:

Does this fellow always take his trousers off for publicity photographs ?

Boss R:

I had indeed read the St Pete Times article and found it somewhat sensationalist. Unless the fuselage was in some way (not described) still behaving aerodynamically (ie wings/powerplants still intact and partially functioning) then it would freefall just as effectively as a human body. And I find the moving about the cabin somewhat unlikely too. Just ask any shot-up WW2 aircrew what the forces were like when trying to bail out.

Boss Raptor
31st May 2004, 16:49
Bottom line she survived a midair from 15,000ft...

I too have to read in that perhaps the fuselage (or part of) was spiraling down 'sycamore leaf' style, one wing attached for example which is quite possible or the mid section stayed intact and continued flying of sorts...

1st Jun 2004, 13:16
Thanks for the replies. Another article re "the luckiest man" mentions that he fell from 800 m after the airplane's rear door suddendly opened. A website listing Yugoslav aviation accidents (http://www.avijacija.co.yu/nesrece/nesrece.html) gives no furter clues, there wasn't even a crash in 1963 and there were no fatalities in the two DC-3 mishaps nearest to that year. JAT flew Caravelles and Convairs at that time, no DC-8s.

Vesna Vulovic was once a household name in the region. In a recent interview she alleges to have been pinned down by the catering trolley in the mid-section of the fuselage (which she later learned from her rescuer).

A few more similar accounts: Wreckage riders (http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/wreckage.html) , Free fallers (http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/ffallers.html)