Last year a China Eastern flight attendant fell off a 737 and onto the tarmac of a flight that was about to depart Shenzhen for Kunming.
Now an Air India flight attendant fell off of a Boeing 777 that was preparing to depart Mumbai for Delhi. The female member of the flight credit of Air India flight AI864 “fell down on the tarmac from the Boeing-777 aircraft door while closing it” according to the airline. She “sustained compound (open) fracture of right lower leg bones and multiple blunt injuries.”
Air India Boeing 777-200LR, Copyright: boarding1now / 123RF Stock Photo
This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, usually when departing from a remote stand when air stairs have been removed before the door closes. Falling onto concrete from a Boeing 777 is more severe than doing so from a 737, though both carry real risk.
Neither of these incidents though come close to the flight attendant who fell 33,000 feet from the sky and lived for forty four more years.
She was Vesna Vulović, a flight attendant on JAT Yugoslav Airlines Flight 367 on January 26, 1972. The flight was scheduled to operate from Stockholm to Copenhagen to Zagreb and then on to Belgrade with a DC-9. Instead it crashed in what was then Czechoslovakia.
The plane was likely destroyed by an explosion caused by a bomb which was placed there by Croatian terrorists. She fell to earth in the tail of the aircraft and had her fall broken by trees and landed in thick snow.
She eventually recovered and returned to work for the airline, which is now known as Air Serbia. Despite the miracle, she was fired in 1990 for political activities against Slobodan Milošević who died while on trial for war crimes.