Tough Little Camera Captures Its Own Accidental Fall From Plane

On its own, the video above is horribly filmed and some of the most difficult-to-watch footage you’ll ever see, but what it shows makes it fascinating. It’s a point-of-view look at what it’s like to fall 12,500 feet without a parachute… and survive. Skydiver Lucas Damm was jumping out of a plane over British Columbia recently when his helmet-mounted GoPro camera smacked against the plane door and fell out of its holder. The camera, still rolling, fell the entire way down and miraculously escaped without any damage.

In the description of the 8-minute-long YouTube video, Damm writes,

bumped my head on the door frame on exit unclasping the latch on the box. The camera popped out on exit at 12,500 and fell straight down onto the landing area at the DZ and was recovered by a fellow skydiver. It even caught our landings. Not one scratch on the body or lens. Still can’t believe that I got it back and that it is totally fine. A buddy the same day who is one of our camera flyers had the same thing happen but with his SLR….not the same result. I’m definitely a gopro fan for life these little guys are bomb proof

As with the seagull-turned-Go-Pro-filmmaker story we shared a couple of days ago, this story is bound to generate cries of “viral marketing” and “fake”. Damm, however, insists that the whole thing was completely the result of lady luck, and that he wasn’t even aware of what had happened until after landing on the ground. It was a fellow skydiver who spotted and recovered the fallen camera.

If you decide to watch the video, be warned that the bulk of it simply shows the camera spinning out of control as it falls to Earth.

(via HuffPost and Boing Boing)

  • Brandon W

    Should have had IS on.

  • Roy

    “A buddy the same day who is one of our camera flyers had the same thing happen but with his SLR….not the same result. I’m definitely a gopro fan for life these little guys are bomb proof”

    If I didn’t think it was viral marketing before I read that, I sure do now.

  • Dave

    The camera out of the housing is only 3 ounces, that is why it is undamaged. If you drop an ant out of an airplane it probably would survive too, then try it with an antelope…….

  • Sporkguy

    Another day, another GoPro viral.

  • Jonathan Maniago

    Viral marketing or not, at least we’re fairly certain that they wouldn’t have faked those with a DSLR.

    *glares in Nokia’s direction*

  • michaelp42


  • slsdklkdls

    another go pro faked viral campaign.. it gets boring…

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    Look at the shadow as he leaves the plane, it’s locked (or nearly locked) and wind pops it open. I wonder if the altitude difference helped the thing to pop open since it’s made to handle pressure not vacuum. I don’t think this is viral marketing, it’s more of viral embarrassment.

  • cooljo

    Yes, the sky diver who has had an account for 6 years and has been posting skydiving videos for 6 years must be working as a viral agent for gopro…-_- just enjoy the video you cynical losers

  • fuzzywuzzy


    I can accept certain coincidences like the camera surviving drop of over two miles. Or landing pointed in the right direction to film all of the skydivers as they parachute down. Or that it was filmed at one of the most picturesque locations on the planet. Or that it was filmed during good sunrise/sunset lighting.

    But all at the same time? Yeah right. I’m not saying it’s faked, just that it’s staged.

    Also, something else is bothering me: a GoPro weighs less than half-a-pound. With their gear and everything, the skydivers are likely pushing 200 pounds. I’m no physicist, but I’m not sure something less than a pound, regardless of its shape, would have less wind resistance than a 200 lb human. It just seems awfully convenient that it should land in exactly the right position, pointed exactly the right direction and at exactly the time where the skydivers are landing.

  • Goobernutz

    Viral marketing or not, who wants a helmet cam that doesn’t even stay attached to your helmet!?

  • Mark

    It’s how I survived a 60 foot fall when I was visiting my mother-in-law on the Moon two years ago. Thank god for physics.

  • trialex

    Drag has nothing to do with mass, and everything to do with frontal surface area. What’s bigger, the surface area of the camera, or the surface area of a human?

  • Ralph Hightower

    It’s funny that the GoPro landed near the drop zone.

  • e’er 4

    Except YouTube can make accounts appear as if they were made in 2006

  • Chris Brind

    That’s right – if this all happened in a vacuum then they’d have fell at exactly the same rate, even with parachutes!

  • Mark Wheadon

    It’s small, light, tough with no inherently fragile parts. Its popularity isn’t something it would achieve by being at all fragile. The light weight and fairly large frontal area means it wouldn’t be falling _that_ fast or hit _that_ hard — of course it could survive when hitting long grass.

    If you’re going to pride yourself in being cynical, at least fine-tune that cynicism. Sitting there on your couch shouting ‘fake’ all the time isn’t clever…

  • Richard Ford

    I call fake.

  • Mário Guilherme

    Rolling shutter.

  • Steve Hideg

    Needs image stabilization.

  • Dan Ballard

    Hey that tough little camera has proven itself to be the ultimate HD camera that you can put at some risk. I’m planning to get 3 of them for a documentary on how gold and platinum is melted and cast for jewelry. this is the first video camera that could possibly be put inside the casting machine and not get damaged. If I’m wrong, a replacement is only $3oo away. I can afford to push the limits for that. Not So Much with my 7D!

  • TSY87

    reality is just not enough for some people. If this was really viral marketing.. it was terrible because 90% of the video is pretty much unwatchable. It’s not uncommon for gopro to actually contact individuals who have used their cameras and caught some really cool stuff to use in adds after the fact… but the idea that its staged or even completely faked is so ridiculous.

    I was actually turned onto the cameras (the original hero wide 480p) when a buddy of mine was riding his motorcycle doing wheelies when he ultimately crashed and caught it all on camera. Gopro actually bought the video from him and gave him free cameras, one of which I bought off him.

  • TSY87

    it fell out of the housing when the latch was bumped… its not like the whole mount fell off. If this really were viral marketing, I don’t think they would want to show this camera having a weak mount or latch system anyway… sometimes you just have bad luck (the latch getting bumped open) and good luck (the camera surviving the fall).

  • Joey Duncan

    Lol, who’s the jack ass who didn’t this guys post, lol I wonder what your life must be like.

    TSY87 makes a good point, they did a similar thing with a friend of mine a few years ago when GoPro was MUCH smaller of him riding his motorcycle.

    To me, the video might be viral, at least it isn’t fake, I fricken hate the fake ones with a passion. I could careless if it were stage, but I also realize the difference between it’s terminal velocity and the overall height.

  • Joey Duncan

    Why? it’s small, light, and built around a structure. It’s DESIGNED to take an impact. I have a friends who went tumbling down Buttonwillow starting at over 100MPH that too WAY more of an impact than this did. This hit its terminal velocity probably in 100 feet and the rest of the decent meant nothing until impact.

  • Joey Duncan

    WTF are you talking about? the altitude, and pressure have NOTHING to do with it. They said he hit it on top of the door, leave it at that. lol physics understanding FAIL

  • Joey Duncan

    I call you fail

  • Happy_Tinfoil_Cat

    I actually own one of these and it does exactly what I said it does. The fact it was still locked after leaving the plane means nothing to you? Reading comprehension FTW.