List of sole survivors of airline accidents or incidents
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaMany who survive large scale disasters suffer from what is labeled in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as survivors' guilt. Dr Stephen Joseph, a psychologist at the University of Warwick, has studied the survivors of the capsizing of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise which killed 193 of the 459 passengers. His studies showed that 60 per cent of survivors suffered from guilt. Dr Stephen Joseph went on to say: "There were three types: first, there was guilt about staying alive while others died; second, there was a guilt about the things they failed to do – these people often suffered post-traumatic 'intrusions' as they relived the event again and again; third, there were feelings of guilt about what they did do, such as scrambling over others to escape. These people usually wanted to avoid thinking about the catastrophe. They didn't want to be reminded of what really happened." Lone survivors often have a more difficult time dealing with "survivors' guilt" because unlike survivors of disasters who escaped with companions, lone survivors have no one to whom they can relate, nor support groups, nor survivors' organizations.
Due to the large number of people involved in an airline flight, being a lone survivor of a crash is statistically improbable.
Lone survivors are often left with physical and psychological injuries. The youngest sole survivor is Paul Ashton Vick who on January 28, 1947, survived a China National Aviation Corporation crash when he was just 18 months old. His father survived long enough to write down directions to his grandparents before succumbing to his wounds. Another sole survivor is former Serbian flight attendant, Vesna Vulović. According to the Guinness Book of Records she holds the record for surviving the highest fall without a parachute at 10,160 metres (33,330 ft), although further investigation after the fall of communism has cast doubt on the official story. Possibly the only lone survivor of a midair collision in history was Petty Officer Third Class Bruce N. Mallibert, who survived the collision of a U.S. Navy P-3C Orion and a NASA Convair 990 on final approach to Moffett Field NAS in 1973. One of the more controversial lone survivors was Wong Yu (Chinese: 黃裕, Hanyu Pinyin: Huáng Yù) who tried to hijack the Cathay Pacific aircraft Miss Macao in 1948 but ended up crashing the plane killing the other 25 people on board. The earliest crash survivor to have been the only one who walked away alive is Linda McDonald. On September 5, 1936, she was the only one who got out of the Skyways sightseeing plane crash that killed 10 other people, including her boyfriend.