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Juliane Koepcke had no idea what was in store for her when boarded LANSA Flight 508 on Christmas Eve in 1971. Her ordeal was far from over. I didn't want to take the boat because I didn't want to steal it. LANSA Flight 508 was a Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop, registered OB-R-941, operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight by Lineas Aéreas Nacionales Sociedad Anonima (LANSA), that crashed in a thunderstorm en route from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru on December 24, 1971, killing 91 people–all 6 of its crew and 85 of its 86 passengers. She decided to sleep in the hut, but after deciding the ground was too hard, she decided to go back down to the riverside and lie in the sand. Yet this unassuming middle aged woman has one of the most exciting and unbelievable stories of tragedy and survival to tell. You could also do it yourself at any point in time. Rescue planes and search crews were unable to locate the crash site and Koepcke was stranded in the jungle alone. After her reunion with her father Koepcke helped search parties to locate the crash site and the bodies of the victims. It was pitch-black all around us and there was constant lightning. After flying for twenty minutes in this weather at FL210 lightning struck the aircraft, causing fire on the right wing which separated, along with part of the left wing. Although it is not uncommon for engines to be hit by lightning, the Electra aircraft they were on wasn’t built for flying in heavy turbulence due to its very rigid wings. The aircraft was flying at about 21,000 ft (6,400 m) above Mean Sea Level when it encountered an area of thunderstorms and severe turbulence. And then it was calm-incredibly calm compared with the noise before that. Local lumbermen found her and took her by canoe back to civilization. I must have been unconscious and then came to in midair. [10] (The English edition When I Fell From the Sky, was published by Titletown Publishing in November 2011. I could only hear the wind in my ears.

The gasoline hurt her but was able to get out the germs inside her wounds. "It just horrifies me. With all the flights booked they managed to find one with Lineas Aereas Nacionales Sociedad Aninima–LANSA. "Sometimes I would see a crocodile on the bank and it would start into the water towards me, but I was not afraid. Juliane Koepcke was born in Lima on Oct. 10, 1954. The reason for Koepcke surviving her free-fall is unknown; however some have speculated that the row of seats she was strapped to played a crucial role by rotating like a helicopter, slowing her descent. ", At about 12:36 p.m. local time, a lightning strike ignited the fuel tank in the right wing, which quickly led to structural failure of the aircraft and an extremely steep fall. Juliane continued through the rainforest, wading through jungle streams infested with crocodiles, piranhas and devil rays. However she described her ordeal to them and, having already heard about a plane crash in the area, the lumbermen believed her and fed her and cared for her wounds. The next day, she woke up to find several poisonous dart frogs, which she did not know were poisonous at the time, and she attempted to catch them. [11] Koepcke's memoir Als ich vom Himmel fiel was published by the German publisher Piper Malik on March 10, 2011. She said of the encounter: I couldn't really see that much, only people's feet pointing up. Over the next 19 hours, Koepcke found herself falling in and out of consciousness. I couldn't smell anything and they hadn't been eaten yet or started to decay. Then we were in the midst of pitch-black clouds and a proper storm with thunder and lightning. LANSA Flight 508 was a Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop, registered OB-R-941, operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight by Lineas Aéreas Nacionales Sociedad Anonima (LANSA), that crashed in a thunderstorm en route from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru, on December 24, 1971, killing 91 people–all six of its crew and 85 of its 86 passengers. I was afraid I would lose my arm. Juliane Koepcke was the sole survivor of the accident. ""He said if you find a creek, follow it because that will lead to a stream and a stream will lead to a bigger river and that's where you'll find help.". The toe nails had nail polish on them and I knew it could not have been my mother because she never used nail polish.". The episode was first aired in 2011, and features an interview with sole survivor Koepcke.[13]. Her ensuing struggle to survive in the jungle was as dangerous, if not more so, than the destruction of the aircraft and her free-fall of approximately two kilometers. After several days of following the river, several of her wounds became infected, one of the larger ones becoming infested with maggots. It took her half a day to regain her ability to stand without feeling dizzy. It was full of maggots. Despite a broken collar bone, a deep gash to her right arm, an eye injury, and concussion, she was able to trek through the dense Amazon jungle for 10 days and found shelter in a hut. To install click the Add extension button. Both attempts failed. I still wonder how so many maggots could have fitted into that little hole, it was no bigger than a one euro coin.". Here’s How 1 Survived the Fall, ✪ A Girl Survived 10,000 Feet Free Fall And 11 Days in the Jungle, ✪ Jungle air crash |Survivor of Lansa air line flight 508||HD||. LANSA Flight 508 was a Lockheed L-188A Electra turboprop, registered OB-R-941, operated as a scheduled domestic passenger flight by Lineas Aéreas Nacionales Sociedad Anonima (LANSA), that crashed in a thunderstorm en route from Lima to Pucallpa, Peru on December 24, 1971, killing 91 people–all 6 of its crew and 85 of its 86 passengers. We have created a browser extension. Fortunately she never encountered one. There was no one there but she found a liter of gasoline. It taxed her already meager reserves of energy to climb over them, and she had to be careful not to injure herself … As the plane broke into pieces in midair, Koepcke was thrust out into the open air: "Suddenly there was this amazing silence. As she travelled downstream, Koepcke discovered more wreckage from the plane -- and found some of the crash victims. Christmas presents were flying around the cabin and I could hear people screaming." In December 1971, 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke and her mother were traveling to see her father on LANSA Flight 508 when the plane was felled by lightning and broke apart. [9], It was later determined that as many as 14 other passengers also survived the initial crash but died awaiting rescue. She reported the maggots initially tried to burrow deeper into her arm, but eventually came to the surface, and she was able to successfully pick them out. The aircraft was flying at about 6,400 m (21,000 ft) above Mean Sea Level when it encountered an area of thunderstorms and severe turbulence. Fortunately, she failed to catch any and gave up. Her injuries from the fall included a broken collar bone, a torn ACL, a strained vertebra in her neck, a partially fractured shin, several deep lacerations on her arms and legs, and one eye was swollen shut due to popped capillaries as a result of rapid decompression of the aircraft. I know this because my watch was still working. After caring for her for a short time, the lumbermen took her on a seven-hour boat ride to a lumber village. I only hope it all went quickly for those on board. Koepcke reported hearing king vultures around her, recognizing them from her previous encounters with them while living at her parents' research station only a-year-and-a-half previously. She was wearing only a sleeveless mini-dress, and lacked her spectacles and one of her sandals. "I was horrified -- I didn't want to touch them but I wanted to make sure that my mother wasn't one of them. Juliane Koepcke was a high school senior studying in Lima, intending to become a zoologist like her father, Hans-Wilhelm Koepcke. Koepcke says she is not a spiritual person and has tried to find logical explanations for why she survived. [12] (The English edition When I Fell From the Sky, was published by Titletown Publishing in November 2011. [1] The sole survivor was 17-year-old Juliane Koepcke, who while strapped to her seat fell 2 miles (3 km) into the Amazon rainforest. Having lost her spectacles in addition to the eye injury, her vision was doubly hindered. So I must have been unconscious the whole afternoon and the night. Then I lost consciousness and regained it way later, the next day. A bolt of lightning hit one of the aircraft’s fuel tanks and ripped off one of the wings. ", The final summary of the cause of the accident was:[5], "The aircraft suffered a lightning strike, which led to a fire and the separation of the right wing. I couldn't touch the dead bodies. Although the hut was empty at the time, she found an outboard motor and some diesel fuel in a barrel. Intentional flight into hazardous weather conditions.". Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea! [1] It is the deadliest lightning strike disaster in history. During her search she found a bag of candy, which was her only food source during her entire ordeal. Ninety-one other people aboard Flight 508 died. The flight was supposed to last for less than an hour and for the first 25 minutes everything was fine, Koepcke recalled. Her collarbone was broken, her right eye swollen shut, she was suffering concussion and had large gashes on her arms and legs. Reviewing her other options, she considered whether or not to take the boat, but ultimately decided not to as she believed doing so would be theft. I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like. It will enhance any encyclopedic page you visit with the magic of the WIKI 2 technology. [3][4] The Electra was LANSA's last aircraft; the company lost its operating permit eleven days later. It will enhance any encyclopedic page you visit with the magic of the WIKI 2 technology. I mean, sure, decay must have started, but I couldn't notice it. After regaining her ability to stand and then her ability to walk, despite her injuries, she spent her first day in the jungle searching for her mother, Maria Koepcke. Koepcke's memoir Als ich vom Himmel fiel was published by the German publisher Piper Malik on March 10, 2011. I heard the incredibly loud motor and people screaming and then the plane fell extremely steeply. [6], Peruvian investigators determined the following sequence of events leading to the accident:[1][2], "About forty minutes after take-off, the aircraft entered a zone of strong turbulence and lightning. Koepcke stated the wing “definitely didn’t explode.” Rather, the plane was simply ripped apart in the air after the wing fell off. Her mother Maria Koepcke, a leading Peruvian ornithologist, was travelling with Juliane from Lima back to their home at Panguana, a nature reserve they had founded near Pucallpa a few years previously, where Hans-Wilhelm was awaiting their return in time for Christmas. "We were headed straight down. At some point she managed to regain her consciousness, perhaps because of the heavy rainfall. There was evidence the crew decided to continue the flight despite the hazardous weather ahead, apparently because of pressure to meet the holiday schedule. I was in a tailspin. So I took a stick and knocked a shoe off one of the bodies. She became known as the miracle girl and was hounded by Peruvian media, receiving hundreds of letters from people she had never met before. After 10 days, starved and exhausted, Koepke finally came upon a small boat and a hut on the river. ... Ninety-one other people aboard Flight 508 died. "It was so strange," she says, smiling. Permit eleven days later the plane fell extremely steeply in addition to the eye,... Code for the WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like was. Having lost her spectacles in addition to the accident aircraft, ✪ lightning Blew up this.! 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