At the start of the recent Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer, Cap jumps from a plane. Except he does this without a parachute. In Avengers, he does use a chute when jumping from a Quinjet to catch up to Thor, Iron Man, and Loki, which seemed to indicate he needs a parachute to land safely.

How can he survive a skydive without a parachute?

  • 8
    He's a superhero? – Meat Trademark Oct 24 '13 at 22:06
  • 3
    He says parachutes are for girls :P – evilsoup Jan 3 '14 at 21:49
  • 8
    It should be noted that occasionally skydivers will survive falls where their parachute fails to open, and that during WWII some airmen survived falling from bombers without them. This is rare, and a combination of factors is at play: updrafts, landing on slopes (even snow-covered at times), landing on mud or other things that can cushion the fall, and even how they chose to land (you can break your legs/hips, or your skull: pick one). So even normal humans do this once in awhile. – John O Jan 3 '14 at 22:52
  • 2
    @JohnO: I choose finger. – Paul D. Waite Mar 14 '14 at 11:42
  • 6
    @JohnO: wait damnit I’m a web developer, I make a living from my fingers. Toe. I choose toe. – Paul D. Waite Mar 14 '14 at 11:43

This scene is an homage to an obscure comic Tales of Suspense #75, in which Captain America is falling from a plane without a parachute.

enter image description here

Captain America plummeting to his death after blowing up the Skullship. Where is his parachute? (Stan Lee later admits they forgot to draw it, but this was a famous event in that it increased interest in Marvel's No-Prize, an award for explaining events "in story" that would rationalize mistakes made in the production of the book.)

enter image description here

Given the Captain's perfect physiology, we are expected to believe he can somehow survive a fall into water without serious injury. And we did.

  • 2
    Also, Captain America is sometimes depicted using his shield to cushion a great fall. Because of the vibranium component that is part of his shield it can absorb kinetic energy to a certain extent. Probably not enough to survive a skydive, though. – JC2k8 Oct 25 '13 at 7:19
  • 6
    Also turns out that vibranium floats I guess? *FURIOUS FACEPALM* OWWW – Paul D. Waite Mar 14 '14 at 11:42
  • 1
    Even if vibranium doesn't float, his shield only weighs 10-12 pounds. – user1787270 Jul 17 '14 at 22:27
  • 1
    @Thaddeus Yes, but that article has a major unstated assumption--that the physics in superhero movies are the same as in the real world. I'm pretty sure that's not true. – KSmarts Apr 22 '15 at 20:58
  • 2
    I will agree with that. Comic universe physics are far stranger than anything we can recognize in our universe. – Thaddeus Howze Apr 22 '15 at 21:00

The trailer shows him landing in water. In the movie The Avengers he parachutes over land. I guess the idea of hitting water at 200 miles an hour appeals to him more than hitting a mountainous forest.

  • This. The clip shows him (sky)diving into the water feet first. With him being a superhero, I assume this shouldn't pose a problem at all, maybe even for us regular humans. youtube.com/watch?v=6k0kkSHiiPE – pleinolijf Mar 14 '14 at 10:37
  • From that height, it would cause a problem for regular humans. I’ve jumped into water from 40 feet, and because my posture was off, it hurt. From a plane, a regular human would be likely to die from the injuries, or at least injured enough to preclude swimming, and thus make drowning likely. – Paul D. Waite Apr 2 '14 at 13:19
  • @PaulD.Waite Thankfully, the Capt. has Super Hero Steroids. ;-) – Ajedi32 Apr 16 '14 at 15:46
  • it depends on how high you go. If you are 200 feet above water and you land just right, you probably gonna break your legs, but live. I've done 90 feet and it tickled and shot water up the butt. no biggie – King of NES Jun 6 '19 at 13:26

Though the accepted answer says it is a reference to an old comic (and this is probably true), his survival is not entirely based on Superhero Steroids. In the scene you watch him fall, but just before impact he snaps into a pencil dive. This would allow him to hit with minimal force, and (yes) due in part to the indestructible factor given to him by the Super Soldier Serum he would survive the fall. See This link.

  • 1
    It's not actually a pencil dive position, it's referred to as the Cross and Cover, it's taught to Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technitions (think Ashton Kutcher in the Guardian). A pencil dive would have his hands at his sides, but his arms are tucked in with his hands covering his face to prevent water from going up his nose. It's a pretty plausible way to enter from such a height. – Monty129 Jul 17 '14 at 20:17
  • @Monty129 you know you could have just added that to the answer, thank you for the information – Devon M Jul 17 '14 at 21:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy