How to Survive a Helicopter Crash

Lieutenant Farley followed the only instructions he knew. “I did exactly what the training had taught me,” he said. “I grabbed a reference point, drew my breath right before the water went over my head and unbuckled.”

As he slipped free from his seat, he could see nothing. He pulled himself toward where he thought he might escape, but lost his way. He does not remember finding the exit, but he must have. Just before his lungs gave out he was on the surface, the last man out.

So you’re reading this article about the Navy’s Aviation Survival Training Center — a place where pilots learn how to survive a plane crash — and you’re thinking “sure, good idea, but who survives a crash in the first place?” And then here comes the amazing story of Lt. Jonathan D. Farley who was on his way back from serving as “a downed pilot for a rescue-training exercise” of all things when the helicopter he was in crashed into the ocean! What are the chances? No, really, does anyone know the chances?