On January 26, 1972, Vesna Vulovic, a Serbian air stewardess, survived an incredible fall from 10,160 meters (33,330 feet) without a parachute. Vulovic was a 22-year-old flight attendant working for JAT Yugoslav Airlines when her flight, JAT Flight 367, was hit by a bomb while flying over Czechoslovakia, causing the plane to explode mid-air. Vesna was sucked out of the aircraft and fell to the ground below.
Unfortunately, the source of the bomb was never discovered, but Vulovic did survive the fall! Though she suffered terrible injuries, she did make a full recovery and was even able to walk again. Once recovered, Vulovic amazingly went on to work as a flight attendant again. Vesna Vulovic’s amazing and miraculous fall and survival is listed as the Guinness World Record for the highest fall without a parachute.
- The altitude Vesna Vulovic fell from is more than three times higher than the cruising altitude of a typical commercial airliner, yet she survived the fall.
- Vesna Vulovic fell into a snowy field in the Czech Republic and was found alive, although she suffered several injuries, including fractures to her skull, pelvis, and spine.
- Vesna Vulovic was in a coma for 27 days and spent months recovering in the hospital.
- Despite Vesna Vulovic's severe injuries, she could walk again and later returned to work for Yugoslav Airlines.
- Vesna Vulovic's survival story is often compared to that of Juliane Koepcke, who in 1971 survived a 10,000 feet fall after a plane crash in the Peruvian rainforest.