Survivor From the Sky: Reading Answers And Questions

The Blog post contains the following IELTS Reading Questions:

  • IELTS Reading multiple choice questions
  • IELTS Reading yes/no/not given
  • IELTS Reading sentence completion 

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IELTS Reading Passage: Survivor from the Sky

 Survivor from the sky

German filmmaker Werner Herzog recounts the true story of an eighteen-year-old girl who was the only survivor of a plane crash in the Amazon jungle in 1971 in the remarkable documentary Wings of Hope. Herzog and Juliane Koepke, now a 46-year-old biologist, go back to the jungle 29 years later, and she recounts her incredible story for the camera.

Juliane had recently finished high school in Lima, Peru, and she and her mother were on their way to her father’s research station in the jungle to celebrate Christmas. After being in the air for half an hour, they were met with a terrifying storm. The plane took a nosedive after being hit by lightning in the middle of severe turbulence. There were screams as people’s bags went flying around the hold. Then the plane disintegrated and Juliane was outside, falling at a speed of thirty thousand feet per minute. “I felt like I was floating in the air while still in my scat. Not so much that I had gotten off the plane as that it had taken off without me. Basically, it had vanished. Juliane says, “I was in a row of seats by myself.” I flew on through the air for a while, and then I fell down. My stomach was being squeezed by the seat belt, and I felt like I was going to pass out. Prior to passing out, Juliane observed the dense jungle below, describing its colour as “a deep green, like broccoli,” with no clearings for hundreds of miles.

Juliane’s survival after her skyfall is nothing short of a miracle. She attributes her survival to a confluence of events, which she discusses in the film. To begin with, a powerful updraft had been created by the storm’s thunderclouds. Secondly, even though she was securely fastened in a row of seats, she felt herself falling in a spiralling motion, much like a maple seed pod. The impact with the treetops sent her tumbling through a tangle of vines, softening her fall into the thick muck below.

However, miraculous as it may have been to survive the fall, that was only the beginning. Juliane was still restrained in her seat when she awoke several hours later, drenched and caked in mud. She staggered to her feet and examined her wounds, which included a fractured bone in her neck, a concussion, and deep cuts to her leg and back. She, too, was in shock, as well as disoriented, lost, and all by herself in the Amazon.

Her ability to adapt stemmed, no doubt, from her prior experience in natural settings. Born to two scientists, Juliane spent most of her childhood in the Amazon jungle. A nearby small stream was her only chance, and she followed it in the hopes of reaching a larger river and safety. Her only possession was the miniskirt she wore on the plane, and she wore only one shoe as she made her way through the jungle with nothing but that. She handed off shards of aircraft, including an engine and a wheel. “At first, I noticed planes circling above me, but after a few days I realised the search had been called off,” she said.

Even though she wasn’t hungry, her health was rapidly deteriorating, and it was only a matter of time. Maggots were wriggling out of the gash in her shoulder where flies had laid their eggs. I stayed in the water because I was sure I would die in the jungle. However, there was one threat that outweighed the others when it came to walking in the stream. To prevent stepping on poisonous sting rays that were hiding in the sand, she had to poke ahead with a stick before each step.

After the small stream turned into a river, the only way to get across was to swim. But here in the deeper water, there were new dangers to be aware of. As she walked by, the basking crocodiles on the shores quietly slid into the water. Juliane thought they were entering the water as a means of concealment because they were afraid of humans. She continued swimming. Ten days later, exhausted and weak from hunger, she came across a hut and a canoe. Three local woodsmen claimed them as their own. It seemed like aid was on the way.

The 46-year-old woman must have struggled greatly to relive the trauma she endured for the camera. She seems emotionless, though. In the plane back to the jungle, she takes seat 19F, just as she did on that fateful day. Her account of the flight is clinical and devoid of any emotion. When they get to the ground and locate the crash site in the thick jungle, Juliane is very detached and methodical as she searches through the debris. She opens a young lady’s bag and finds a suitcase skeleton inside. As she strolls alongside the stream, she recognises the engine as the one she had previously seen on day three. Mosquito bites cover her arms and legs, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Then, back in town, Juliane remarks simply, T emerged, as the sole embodiment of hope from this disaster, while standing in front of a memorial dedicated to the crash victims and titled Alas de Esperanza (Wings of Hope).

Survivor from the sky Reading Questions

Do the statements below agree with the information in Reading Passage 1?In Boxes 1-7, write:

Choose the correct letter A-D.
1. Choose the injury she suffered from the list.

A. A broken arm
B. A broken foot
C. Concussion
D. Cuts on her head

2. For how long did she wander the jungle without finding her way out?
A. 3 days
B. 5 days
C. 10 days
D. 15 days

3. Which of these did NOT mitigate the impact of her fall?

A. An updraft caused by storm clouds
B. Hitting vines
C. The section of seats to which she was attached
D. A parachute

4. What occurred with the plane?

A. It broke apart in the air
B. It hit tres and exploded
C. It crashed into a mountainside
D. It hit the ground and burst into flames

5. What do you think kept her alive?

A. Knowledge of the jungle
B. A map showing the location of the river
C. Appropriate clothing and shoes
D. Food supplies from the plane

6. Is there a specific method by which she was eventually saved?

A. a search party found her in the jungle
B. Native hunters found her
C. She signalled to a plane from the river
D. She reached a campsite along the river

7. Where did she feel the greatest danger?

A. Infected wounds
B. Sting rays
C. Starvation
D. crocodiles

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Questions     8-11

Do the following statements agree with the views of the writer in this passage?


  • YES – if the statement agrees with the views of the writer
  • NO – if the statement contradicts the views of the writer
  • NOT GIVEN – if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

Questions 12-14

Complete the sentences below.

Answer the following questions using NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.

12. What was the cause of the plane crash?__________
13. How old was Juliane at the time of the crash?__________
14. What is her occupation now?__________

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Survivor from the Sky reading answers

1.  Concussion 
2. 10 Days
3. A parachute
4. It broke apart in the air
5. Knowledge of the jungle 
6. She reached a campsite along the river
7. Sting rays 
8. No 
9. Not given
10. Yes
11. No
12. Storm/Lightening
13. 18 years old
14. Biologist

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