Vesna Vulović, flight attendant that survived the highest fall without a parachute dies at the age of 66

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1971

On 26 january 1972 an explosion on JAT Flight 367 (Jugoslavenski Aerotransport) caused the plane to break apart. Vulović, 22 years old at the time, was a flight attendant on board. She was not scheduled to be on that flight; she had been mixed up with another flight attendant who was also named Vesna (wikipedia: Vesna Vulović).

Vulović fell approximately 10,160 meters. She suffered a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae (one crushed completely) that left her temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, and two broken legs. She was in hospital for 16 months after emerging from a 27 day coma. In an interview, she commented that according to the man who found her, “…I was in the middle part of the plane. I was found with my head down and my colleague on top of me. One part of my body with my leg was in the plane and my head was out of the plane. A catering trolley was pinned against my spine and kept me in the plane. The man who found me says I was very lucky. He was in the German Army as a medic during World War II. He knew how to treat me at the site of the accident.”

Vulović continued working for Jat Airways at a desk job following a full recovery from her injuries. She regained the use of her legs and continued to fly sporadically.

Vulović died in her apartment in Belgrade on 23 December 2016. She was found dead by her friends; the cause of the death was not immediately known.

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