Welcome to Writers Talkback. If you are a new user, your account will have to be approved manually to prevent spam. Please bear with us in the meantime

Research question - Forensic - Impact of body in ground

edited January 2014 in Writing
Hello, I was wondering whether anybody knows, or could point me in the direction of a source, with regards to the follwing question:

If a person falls out of an aircraft in free fall (i.e. without a parachute) and hits the ground (in particular relatively soft pasture), how deep an impact will the body make?

Many thanks



  • How high up they are when they fall and what they weigh will make a difference, I'm sure.
  • edited January 2014
    Yes how high up the plane is will have an effect on how long it takes to drop, as will their weight, even possibly whether they are tumbling head over heels...

    No doubt there's some mathematical formula.
  • And it would depend upon how soft the ground was - google schwingmoor or quaking bog. someone could just disappear without trace.
  • LizLiz
    edited January 2014
    [quote=Carol]Yes how high up the plane is will have an effect on how long it takes to drop, as will their weight, [/quote]

    The weight of something does not govern how long it takes to hit the ground. Unless it had surface area and was light, like a piece of paper or a feather... but two bodies would fall at the same rate.
  • Does what you have upon your person make any difference?

    I mean if someone put heavy weights in your pocket and pushed you out along with an equally sized person without weights, would it make no difference whatsoever?
  • I think Liz is right, Carol. Weight is irrelevant to the speed at which you fall.

    Oh, where's the quote button?
  • An object falling through air will accelerate due to gravity until the force of air resistance on the body equals the force of gravity and it will then reach a constant speed - 'terminal velocity'. Weight will not affect this, though surface area will, hence how skydivers can slow themselves down by spreading their arms - the air resistance on the body will be higher so it will equal the force of gravity sooner so acceleration will stop sooner and the terminal velocity will be lower.
    The force of the impact is the result of the amount of deceleration (i.e. from terminal velocity to nothing) which will depend on the speed at which the body is falling, and how quickly it comes to a stop (v.quickly on tarmac, not as quickly on deep snow!)

    The force of the impact and the softness of the surface will determine the depth of the landing.

    None of that really answers your question, Piet. Sorry. But as you don't have to be specific as to how soft the pasture is, I think you have a fairly free range. There is more info/case studies here that might help.


  • It's all Galileo's 'fault'.
    This may help your research Piet Miller

    Welcome to the throng of writing enthusiasts.
  • My apologies for not reacting to your kind comments sooner. Unfortunately, health issues, a move and other such things life throws at us kept me out of circulation for a while. I still haven't found an answer to my question but if I do I will post the result here for future reference. Many thanks to everyone.
  • Go to decodedscience.com and choose the 'Ask an Expert' option.
Sign In or Register to comment.