In the summer of 1959, Rankin was on a routine flight.He was climbing over a thunderhead when suddenly a loud bump and a rumble was heard from the engine.
As he went to pull the lever to turn on the auxiliary power, it broke off. although the temperature outside was -50 degrees celcius he ejected from the plane.
he suffered instant frostbite, and decompression caused his eyes, ears, nose and mouth to start bleeding. his stomach swelled as if he was pregnant. he managed to use his emergency oxygen supply. 5 minutes had passed and his parachute did not open yet.
He was still in the upper regions of the thunder storm