Man Sucked Out of Plane at 20,000 Feet

An air nurse had to combat 200-mph winds to stay alive.

ByABC News via logo

July 5, 2007 — -- Getting sucked out of an airplane at 20,000 feet may seem like a disaster scenario that could only happen in Hollywood.

For Chris Fogg, though, it was all too real. On June 27, the flight nurse was transporting a patient to a Seattle hospital aboard a twin-engine piper turboprop. As the plane was cruising at 20,000 feet, the window adjacent to Fogg's right shoulder exploded, causing a drastic change in pressure that sucked him out of the window, headfirst.

"I was just sitting in my seat, chitchatting with the pilot and then there was this huge explosion, like this real loud popping sound," Fogg said on "Good Morning America." "I was immediately sucked to the right, right out the window."

With his legs and left arm inside the plane, Fogg fought to break free from the intense suction and 200-mph winds.

"It was just like the movies," he said. "There was chaos. There was stuff flying everywhere. Anything that was near the window was going right out."

Fogg believes his 6-foot, 200-pound frame kept him from flying away.

"It was like the fight of my life," he said. "I have a pretty vivid memory of seeing the tail of the plane and what was left of my headset whacking the side of the plane."

The pilot put the plane into a dive, sending it to 10,000 feet to equalize the pressure. Miraculously, Fogg pulled himself through the exploded window and back into the plane. The pilot made an emergency landing in Boise, Idaho, a few minutes later.

Unharmed, Fogg got back on a plane the next day.

"It wasn't my day to die," he said. "I truly felt like I was blessed."

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