11
$\begingroup$

I found:

  • Aviator Bob Gauchie retains the record for solo arctic survival by a downed airman, enduring 58 days of arctic weather before his rescue in Canada 1967.

  • After 72 days on the glacier, 16 of the 45 people on board the crashed Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued alive.

Any longer ?


scope: For the purpose of this question only the initial rescue from the crash site shall be considered.

$\endgroup$
5
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Francis Gary Powers survived in a Russian prison after his plane was shot down, for 1 year 9 months and 10 days before being rescued if that counts... $\endgroup$ – Dave Jan 4 '19 at 1:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks. I clarified the scope. $\endgroup$ – summerrain Jan 6 '19 at 5:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The #1 and #2 records in this category are held by Tom Hanks and Wilson. :) $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jan 12 '19 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ At what point can we consider people are rescued? when they are spotted by rescue teams? when they are in the vehicle bringing them to an hospital? when they have been examined and doctors say "they will live"? when they leave the medical facility after intense medical treatment? $\endgroup$ – Manu H Mar 6 '20 at 6:55
  • $\begingroup$ @ManuH - I'd assume when they are physically picked up by rescue teams/walk themselves to safety $\endgroup$ – SSumner Mar 6 '20 at 12:45
4
$\begingroup$

I have not found a period longer than the two you provided (quoted for completeness). It is unlikely that there is a longer period unreported, as that would be a major news item or historical note; it is possible but unverifiable there has been a person survive after a crash longer but was never rescued due to the aircraft never being recovered.

  • Aviator Bob Gauchie retains the record for solo arctic survival by a downed airman, enduring 58 days of arctic weather before his rescue in Canada 1967.

  • After 72 days on the glacier, 16 of the 45 people on board the crashed Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued alive.

A couple notable contenders and interesting anecdotes:

  • Howard Snyder was shot down over Belgium during WWII and joined the Belgium resistance, staying with them for over 6 months until he was rescued by US Troops

  • Louis Zamperini's 47 days on the ocean after his B-24 crashed in the Pacific during WWII, likely an oceanic survival record after a plane crash, was depicted in the film and book Unbroken. Zamperini then spent another 28 months in Japanese prison camps before being repatriated

  • Roger Locher holds the USAF evasion record behind enemy lines, spending 23 days evading North Vietnamese troops during the Vietnam war after his F-4 was shot down

  • Juliane Koepecke's 11 days in the Peruvian jungle after falling from a disintegrating airplane

  • The record for desert survival, albeit with an unfortunate lack of rescue, the crew of Lady Be Good (WWII)

    They survived for over a week in the desert with essentially no water, covering 115 miles...The remains of Moore are still lost in the Sahara’s Sand Sea of Calanscio. But he clearly broke all records for stamina and desert survival

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Of the crew of the Lady Be Good, "They died trying". The best epitaph any of us could ask for. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Mar 6 '20 at 14:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.