SURVIVAL OF HIGH-VELOCITY FREE-FALLS IN WATER
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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Forty-four cases of free-falls survived by individuals impacting water environments under conditions of high velocity 50 to 116 ftsec, corrected for aerodynamic drag have been intensively investigated and analyzed. Ages varied from 7 to 80 years and the study included 34 males and 10 females. The falls occurred in 17 states, mainly over a 3-year period, and included all known survivals of water impact at over 50 ftsec. It was found that the most survivable body orientation, by a factor of five to seven, is a feet-first impact in which critical velocity for human survival was approximately 100 ft sec No correlation of velocity with degree of injury was found, although distinct patterns of injury were shown. Factors believed to influence human survival tolerances are discussed.
- Stress Physiology
- Escape, Rescue and Survival