Remember this? Vesna’s day off | News

Vesna Vulovic loved to travel and wanted to see the world. In 1971, 21-year-old Vesna had a chance encounter with a flight attendant friend, often referred to as a stewardess. Vesna was delighted to learn that she could travel to London and many other destinations around the world at the airline’s expense. The time between flights was his for sightseeing or shopping. Vesna recognized this as a wonderful opportunity and applied to JAT Airways, Yugoslavia’s largest airline. JAT agreed to hire her if she could pass a medical. Vesna had a history of low blood pressure, which she knew would cause her to fail her medical exam. On the day of her exam, Vesna intentionally drank an excessive amount of coffee. The trick worked. Vesna passed her exam and was cleared to fly.

Flight 367 took off on the morning of January 25, 1972 from Stockholm, Sweden, and landed in Copenhagen, Denmark. Vesna and the rest of her flight crew had spent the previous day shopping in Denmark, waiting to relieve the incoming crew that afternoon. Vesna and her flight crew arrived at the airport in Denmark to relieve the flight crew who had flown from Stockholm to Copenhagen. Vesna and her crew arrived at the airport and watched the passengers disembark. Although some of the passengers were continuing their journey on the same jet, the passengers had to disembark for safety reasons. A man caught the attention of everyone in the vicinity. He seemed terribly annoyed by something, but Vesna never knew the cause of his irritation.

Vesna, her flight crew and passengers, a total of 28, boarded the jet for the next leg of the flight to Zagreb, Croatia. The irritable man failed to board the jet. At 3:15 p.m., flight 367 took off from Copenhagen. Vesna served drinks and snacks to passengers and crew. Forty-six minutes after takeoff, at 4:01 p.m., while the jet was flying at an altitude of 33,333 feet, an explosion ripped through the jet’s baggage compartment. The cabin instantly depressurized and, due to her low blood pressure, Vesna passed out. The plane broke up over the mountainside village of Srbská Kamenice in Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic). Vesna, unconscious, was trapped in the jet’s fuselage by a food cart. The other 27 people on the flight were thrown from the jet when it depressurized and died. The jet’s fuselage plummeted from a height of 33,333 feet (6.3 miles) to the ground until it struck the side of the snow-capped mountain at an angle. The deep snow and the impact angle of the fuselage softened the impact.

Bruno Honke, a local villager who had been a medic during World War II, was the first to hit the impact sight. He assumed there were no survivors but, to his surprise, he heard someone screaming from the wreckage. He rushed to the pile of debris and found Vesna. Vesna had a fractured skull, three broken vertebrae, several broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and both legs were broken. Bruno stayed with her until rescuers arrived and took Vesna to hospital.

Vesna remained in a coma for 27 days. When she regained consciousness, she was temporarily paralyzed below the waist and suffered from amnesia. The last thing she remembered was greeting passengers as they boarded Flight 367. Her family learned of the crash about two weeks after it happened and rushed to her bedside. . Ten months after the accident, after several operations and months of therapy, Vesna finally regained the ability to walk despite limping for the rest of her life.

To everyone’s amazement, Vesna was not afraid to fly after the crash. She simply said that she had no memory of the accident. In September 1972, Vesna told the airline that she was looking forward to getting back to work. Rather than send her back to her old job as a flight attendant, JAT Airways provided Vesna with a desk job. For the rest of his life, Vesna suspected that the petulant man was somehow responsible for the explosion that caused the accident.

The mere fact that Vesna survived earned her a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for “highest surviving fall without a parachute”. But, Vesna Vulovic should not hold this record. You see, a JAT Airways employee mistook Vesna for another flight attendant with the same first name and assigned her to that fateful flight. It was supposed to be Vesna Vulovic’s day off.

History writer Brad Dison received his master’s degree in history from Louisiana Tech University. He wrote four history books and was published in journals and scholarly journals. Follow the column via the Facebook group “Remember This? by Brad Dison. For more real stories about real people with a twist, listen to Brad Dison’s podcast “Remember This?” at http://www.BradDison.com. Dison’s book “Do you remember that?” is available for pre-order on this site.

History writer Brad Dison received his master’s degree in history from Louisiana Tech University. He wrote four history books and was published in journals and scholarly journals. Follow the column via the Facebook group “Remember This? by Brad Dison. For more real stories about real people with a twist, listen to Brad Dison’s podcast “Remember This?” at http://www.BradDison.com. Dison’s book “Do you remember that?” is available for pre-order on this site.

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