I don’t mind planes, but sometimes I think I should. See, my family has found itself linked to a number of plane-related tragedies.
My dad was twice asked to travel on a private plane for his work. He refused, and both small aircrafts ended up crashing.
Then my mother’s neighbors perished when an engine fire broke out into the cockpit of their little Cessna. I know that tragedy can happen to anyone anywhere, but when they occur midair, the results are usually disastrous.
Usually, but not always. A number of plane crashes have ended in absolutely miraculous ways for their passengers.
Our first example is also the grimmest. In 1971, German teacher Juliane Koepcke was flying over Peru when a lightning strike caused her plane to break in half.
Koepcke fell two miles, landing in the jungle with a broken collarbone and damaged knee. She alone survived and walked through the rainforest for 10 days despite her wounds becoming maggot-filled infections.
She eventually stumbled on a group of men who cleaned her wounds, fed her and took her to the nearest town. She was 17 years old.
A more cheerful tale unfolded in June on the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. As a tiny island, a mere 146 miles square, it’s normally known for its idyllic vistas and golf courses.
But a small-plane pilot who wished to remain anonymous was coming in to land at Sandown Airport when the worst happened: He started experiencing engine trouble.
“The landing was going well, then I hit a bump and the plane lifted up,” he said. “It would’ve been a heavy landing, so I decided to lift up and have another go.
“As I got in the climb out, the engine went to zero. Then it picked up again and then went again.”
The plane crashed on a nearby golf course. Fortunately, the pilot walked away — the definition of a good landing.
A July 10 crash in Alaska had a similarly amazing outcome. It occurred near Ketchikan, an area known for its scenic small-plane flights.
This one, though, almost turned fatal. As the weather started to worsen and visibility began to decline, the aircraft went down in the mountains.
Given that the crash site was 2,000 above sea level, rocky and wooded, you might expect that its pilot and 10 passengers would not make it. However, everyone survived.
Many of the occupants were injured, CBS News reported. However, the Alaska State Troopers said they were amazed that no one died.
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