Sole Survivor Documentary Targets August

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A documentary based on the insights of individuals who became sole survivors of commercial aviation disasters appears set for release in August. According to the movie’s creators, the film includes commentary from at least three survivors who have never spoken publicly about the events that changed their lives. Among them is one pilot, Jim Polehinke, who acted as copilot of Comair Flight 5191, which crashed at Lexington on August 27, 2006, killing all 49 others aboard. The NTSB found the probable cause of the accident (PDF) included multiple failures of the flight crew.

The number of people who live as the sole survivor of major commercial aviation disasters is 14, according to the filmmakers. Other sources count 15 instances since 1970. The documentary approaches the stories of multiple sole survivors through interviews about their physical and emotional struggles after their plane crash. According to the film’s director, Ky Dickens, there is a misconception that survivors are lucky, but “the survivors are really victims, too,” she told ABC News. “Their life is altered forever, and it’s not easy for them to pick up and go on and there’s very little of it that feels lucky to them.”