A British soldier has just survived the seemingly impossible, a 15,000ft fall after crashing into someone’s roof when his parachute failed to fully deploy.
Residents of Via Cielo, California, around 200 miles northwest of Los Angeles, were greeted to quite the shock when a soldier crashed through the roof of a neighboring house after his parachute failed to open fully. But they were even more stunned after learning the soldier survived the fall.
Miraculously, the soldier had no major injuries and is recovering well, says the Ministry of Defense to the Evening Standard.
The incident occurred on July 6 after soldiers based at Camp Roberts were performing group training of HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jumps.
Halo is used by the SAS and SBS for covert insertions into hostile territory and involves dropping from altitudes as high as 40,000 feet, but only opening parachutes as low as 3,000 feet before reaching the ground. HALO jumps are perfect for avoiding detection and reaching the drop zones rapidly, but allow little room for error or equipment malfunctions.
During the training exercise, the soldier experienced issues in freefall and lost control when the parachute failed to open. Equipped with a reserve chute, the soldier deployed it to slow the descent, but it was unable to open in time and he fell rapidly and crashed through the roof of a residential building – which luckily had no one inside at the time – where he was recovered by emergency services, according to Atascadero Police.
Miraculously, the soldier had no major injuries and is recovering well, authorities said.
While it may sound impossible, falling from 15,000 feet differs very little from falling 1,500 feet. On average, it takes just 12 seconds for a skydiver to reach terminal velocity – a blistering 120 mph – in which time they will have covered around 1,500 feet. From here, the skydiver will maintain a steady speed throughout the dive, before deploying a parachute to slow themselves for landing. As such, surviving falls from huge altitudes lies well within the realms of possibility, particularly when the individual is slightly slowed by a half-open parachute, which appears to have happened here.
Nevertheless, it’s truly a miracle that he survived.
— U.S Army WTF! Moments (@TheWTFNation) July 10, 2021