This past weekedn in England a sky diver by the name of Paul Lewis cheated death after falling some 2,000 feet when his main chute failed and his reserve canopy opened only partially. Mr. Lewis, age 40, has been skydiving for some 20 years was photographing a skydiving stunt when the accident occurred. He fell onto the steel roof of a hangar and suffered some head and neck injuries; howerver he is reported in good conditon and good spirits. Many years ago in my past I used to skydive over Texas, and soon enough I decided that it is better to fly airplanes than jump out of them. But as I read the article in Times Online I was more interested in the comments on the story. Apparently the spriling reserve canopy slowed him down just enough, and the steel roof gave just enough, to allow him to survive this fall. More interesting, however, was the story of the tail gunner on a British Lancaster during World War II. Because there was no room in the tail gunner position to wear a parachute when the crippled on fire aircraft was falling one Sargent Alkemade of the RAF fell some 18,000 feet sans parachute and survived. In this case the trees and deep snow in Germany broke his fall sufficiently to allow him to survive and be captured by the Germans. In another case a Shayna Richardson, an American skydiving student, fell 10,000ft into a car parking lot after her parachute failed to open in October 2005. When surgeons operated on her they found she was pregnant. Both she and the baby survived. Anyone for skydiving? Or do you want to wait for Obama care first? Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 That's not flying, that's just falling with style.
— Woody, from the 1996 movie 'Toy Story,' regarding Buzz Lightyear.