Koepcke (Turner) is a high school senior and the sole survivor of the December 24, 1971 crash of LANSA Flight 508 in the Peruvian rain forest. The 17-year-old was on a Christmas Eve flight with her mother, to join her father for Christmas, when the Lockheed L-188A Electra en route from Lima to Pucallpa flew directly into a thunderstorm and was struck by lightning. The plane was incinerated; Koepcke was ejected, still belted to her seat.
She fell 10,000 feet - almost two miles through the air, before the canopy of the Amazon rain forest broke her fall and miraculously saved her life. From there, the teenager struggled to survive an 11-day ordeal, navigating through the treacherous jungles to be rescued.