Eli5 why jumping off a plane last second doesn’t decrease Fall damage


Eli5 why jumping off a plane last second doesn’t decrease Fall damage

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It does, but not in a significant way.

Imagine you are falling towards the ground at 100 m/s. If you jump right before impact, you give yourself an upwards velocity of 2.5 m/s. That means your net velocity is still 97.5 m/s down. The difference between 97.5 m/s and 100 m/s is not enough to stop you from splattering.

Your momentum relative to the plane will change, because you now jumped off the plane.

Your momentum relative to the ground is still falling at roughly the same speed as the plane.

To change your momentum relative to the ground in this situation, you would need to slow the plane’s descent down first, which, if you can do, you mighy wanna choose a softer form of crashing instead.

Well scientifically speaking, “fall damage” is a game mechanic, not a real life thing, but for the purposes of this conversation, it does, just not by much.

It is about the equivalent of putting up a sheet of fabric between you and a bullet shot at you. Yes, in a scientific sense, the fabric will slow the bullet down some. In a practical sense, it has no difference.

Because you’re just converting your relative velocity to global velocity. When you’re on the plane, your speed is the same as the falling plane. The 2 feet you jump up to get off doesn’t do much to counteract that. Jumping in the plane might make you weightless, but relative to the not moving earth, you haven’t actually changed your speed at all.

Combined with speed not actually having much to do with impact. Surviving a fall is more about how long you can keep your momentum going, so that it slowly decreases instead of stopping all at once. You’d have to juno out of the plane onto a hill that’s tall enough for you to roll for a good while. And that will probably kill you anyway.

You’d actually have better chances bracing in your seat.

Apparently you can’t just answer with a link in this sub, so I’ll say again:

[Inertial reference frames!](https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wD7C4V9smG4)

That channel has awesome science videos of all types, if you want to learn things about stuff.