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THE PLANE IS GOING DOWN AAHHHHHHH!!!!!
Juliane Koepcke was flying with her mother and ninety other passengers on Christmas Eve, 1971, when lightning struck, causing an extensive structural failure of the Lockheed Electra.
Miraculously, she suffered only cuts and a broken collarbone from the crash. Later, she reported feeling "a hefty concussion." Then she was falling toward the jungle.
She'd have to get herself out. It was another important moment: She didn't spend time bemoaning her fate. She looked to herself, took responsibility, made a plan.
She wasn't screaming; she wasn't in a panic. She was in wonder at the world in which she found herself. She was taking it all in, touching her new reality.
She didn't know where she was or which way she ought to go, but her father had told her that if she went downhill, she'd find water. He'd said that rivers usually led to civilization.
There is always a lot of chance involved in a survival situation, both good luck and bad. It was Juliane's good fortune that three hunters turned up the next day and delivered her to a local doctor. But, as Louis Pasteur said, "Luck favors the prepared mind."
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