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A Cambridge University student broke open a door of a plane and jumped to her death after overpowering a fellow passenger while mid-air, it is claimed.

Alana Cutland, 19, fell from a Cessna light aircraft as she travelled back from a remote lodge where she was studying crabs as part of her natural science degree.

The tragic incident happened 15 minutes after the plane took off from the remote Analalava region in northern Madagascar on July 25.

Alana is understood to have fought off British tourist Ruth Johnson before plunging 3,600 feet into the Madagascar savanna below, The Sun reported.

The pilot also grappled onto Alana's leg and manoeuvred the plane from side to side in a desperate bid to prevent her from flinging herself from the tiny aircraft.

Both eventually lost grip of Alana after becoming "exhausted" in the life and death struggle.

Authorities have launched a major operation to locate her whereabouts, but have not yet been able to recover her body.

Police officers investigating her death have recreated events on board the fateful flight after taking statements from Ms Johnson and the pilot.

Local police chief Sinola Nomenjahary said: “The Cessna C168 aircraft was taking off from Anjajavy with three people aboard, including Ms Johnson, Alana and the pilot.

 

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Brillig

Danse Macabre Instructor
Bold Member!
The father of a friend was diagnosed with a heart condition. He was prescribed a fairly common medication and sent home. Two days later, he became paranoid and very delusional. He locked himself in his bedroom, screaming. When they broke down the door, he was trying to jump out a third floor window. Paramedics called, trip to hospital. Turns out it was a somewhat rare (but listed) side effect of the new medication he was prescribed. Nobody had mentioned this possible side effect to him or his family. Scary shit.

Same thing could have happened to this poor girl.
 

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Satanica

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
From your link.

[....]
Cutland’s uncle said she became ill a few days after arriving in the island off East Africa.

“When she spoke to her mother on the phone two days before the accident she was mumbling and sounded pretty incoherent,” Lester Riley, 68, told Mail Online.

Authorities are investigating whether Cutland suffered a reaction to anti-malaria drugs, the news outlet reported, adding that in very rare cases some of the medications, including Larium and Malarone, can cause paranoia, depression, hallucinations and even suicidal thoughts.

“We think she had suffered a severe reaction to some drugs but not anti-malaria ones because she had taken those on her trip last year to China without any side effects,” the retired electrician said.
[....]
Meanwhile, the pilot described how he and Ruth Johnson, 51, battled for five minutes to try and prevent Cutland from leaping from the aircraft before she slipped from their grasp.

Mahefa Tahina Rantoanina, 33, told The Sun that Cutland remained “completely silent” during the struggle.

“I had just taken off and I was still climbing when all of a sudden there was a rush of wind and Ruth started screaming,” he told the newspaper.

“I turned round and saw Alana hanging out of my plane. I immediately leveled the aircraft to try and keep us on course, then I reached over and held the door,” he continued.

“I was trying to pull it shut while Ruth was holding on to Alana’s leg. The plane stayed level, there was no rocking but it was very noisy from the wind,” the pilot said.

“I was trying to fly and stop her from falling at the same time. I was absolutely terrified, we all were. Ruth and I were shouting at her to come back inside the plane.

“But for the whole time Alana did not say a word she just struggled to get away from us. I have no idea why she opened the door but she did. She opened the door and she jumped. The door did not open itself,” he said.
 

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Satanica

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
Thinking about it over the weekend, I don't think there's any way they could've saved her. If they'd managed to get the plane back down, then what? Would there have been access to the level of care that would've been necessary? Would there have been an adequate and humane way to restrain her for the trip back to civilization? Worst case scenario, she could've caused the plane to crash. I really feel for the pilot and the other passenger, and I think they did the best they could.
 

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Siobhan

Baekjul Bool Gool
Staff member
There are a few antimalarial drugs used to treat lupus and other auto-immune disorders; my spouse was on Hydroxychloroquine for over 15 years, and the side effects were terrible.
While it doesn't cause paranoia as much as Chloroquine, many patients that are unable to take Hydroxychloroquine are still given Chloroquine in attempts to suppress their immune system's levels to try to control auto-immune disorders - which stem from highly "over-active" immune systems, that causes the body to attack it's own organs by mistaking them for toxic immune invaders like bacterial or parasitic infections.
Immune boosting foods, especially several green vitamin rich, leafy vegetables are also no-no's for patients with auto-immune disorders, as they exacerbate the already over-active immune system.

It's fortunate that this woman didn't accidentally pull out the passenger who tried to restrain her out the door with her. On a commercial flight, she would have been heavily restrained by the flight crew (and possibly an Air Marshal) and/or even sedated to protect the rest of the passengers and crew until the plane could make an emergency landing.

Thinking about it over the weekend, I don't think there's any way they could've saved her. If they'd managed to get the plane back down, then what? Would there have been access to the level of care that would've been necessary? Would there have been an adequate and humane way to restrain her for the trip back to civilization? Worst case scenario, she could've caused the plane to crash. I really feel for the pilot and the other passenger, and I think they did the best they could.
This.
It's amazing that they did what they could, and that the pilot still managed to maintain control of the plane during the whole encounter and continue on to bring it down in a safe landing.
 

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