Three Minutes to Impact
After reading, "as a courtesy to the next passenger, consider leaving your copy of this guide in the seat-back pocket" — How to Fall 35,000 Feet—And Survive. There's a lot of water between Korea and California, where my folks now live, so these excerpts are the ones I need to keep in mind:
- Contrary to popular belief, water is an awful choice. Like concrete, liquid doesn’t compress. Hitting the ocean is essentially the same as colliding with a sidewalk, Hamilton explains, except that pavement (perhaps unfortunately) won’t “open up and swallow your shattered body.”
Water landings—if you must—require quick decision-making. Studies of bridge-jump survivors indicate that a feet-first, knife-like entry (aka “the pencil”) best optimizes your odds of resurfacing. The famed cliff divers of Acapulco, however, tend to assume a head-down position, with the fingers of each hand locked together, arms outstretched, protecting the head. Whichever you choose, first assume the free-fall position for as long as you can. Then, if a feet-first entry is inevitable, the most important piece of advice, for reasons both unmentionable and easily understood, is to clench your butt.