Ivan Chisov. Wikimedia 1. A Soviet Airman’s Extremely Lucky Escape From the Grim Reaper’s Clutches
Because he feared that might get shot by German fighters while he dangled defenseless beneath a parachute, Ivan Chisov decided that he would not open his parachute until he got close to the ground. However, lack of oxygen in the thin air so high up caused him to black out. Unconscious, he continued all the way down without deploying his parachute. As a result,
he plummeted 23,000 feet from his stricken Il-4, before he hit the ground at an estimated speed of 118 to 150 miles per hour.
Luckily, for the Soviet airman, he hit the edge of a snowy ravine, and the snow absorbed and dissipated enough impact energy to keep him alive. Chisov bounced from the ravine’s edge and slid, rolled, and ploughed his way to the bottom. He was seriously hurt, and suffered spinal injuries and a broken pelvis. However, he had managed to escape the Grip Reaper, and was alive. He underwent surgery, and spent a month hospitalized in critical care. He was a tough Russian, however, and three months after his dramatic fall,
Chisov was back in the air, flying more missions against the Nazis.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading 303 rd Bomb Group History – 20,000 Feet Without a Parachute: The Alan Magee Story Air Force Magazine, February 1 st, 1995 – Valor: Thanks, Luftwaffe Aviation Geek Club – The Story of Bruce Carr, the P-51D Pilot Who Left on a Mission Flying a Mustang and Returned to Base Flying a Luftwaffe FW190 Baer, Joel H. – Pirates of the British Isles (2005) BBC – Shoichi Yokoi, the Japanese Soldier Who Held Out in Guam Check Six – The Free Fall of Sergeant Magee Encyclopedia Britannica – John Avery Encyclopedia Britannica – Johnny Torrio Historic Wings – The Miracle of Saint Nazaire History Collection – 16 Steps These Criminals Took to Escape From Alcatraz History Net – Devyataev’s Flight: A Russian POW Stole a German Bomber and Lived to Tell the Tale How Stuff Works – Japanese Holdouts La Bruja la Verde – The World War II Airmen Who Survived Falls From Thousands of Feet High McPhaul, Jack – Johnny Torrio: First of the Gang Lords (1970) National Park Service – The Soldier Who Did Not Surrender Rogozinski, Jan – Honor Among Thieves: Captain Kidd, Henry Every, and the Pirate Democracy in the Indian Ocean (2000) Royal Air Force Museum – The Indestructible Alkemade Russo, Gus – The Outfit: The Role of Chicago’s Underworld in the Shaping of Modern America (2003) Together We Served – Carr, Bruce W. (DSC), Colonel War History Online – Amazing Escape: Soviet Prisoners Stole a German Plane and Flew Home Wikipedia – Ivan Chisov Wikipedia – Mikhail Devyataev