Cheating Death

The Moment Of Truth:

You're piloting a plane that's out of control, hurtling toward the ground. You've been kidnapped by two jumpy, gun-wielding thugs on the run from the police. A bomb meant to kill you has just exploded in your face.

How would you react in cases like this, with death staring you square in the face? Everyone wants to think they'd stay cool under the immense pressure. But until you've gone through it, you can never know.

Monday, CBS News 48 Hours introduces you to some people who have gone through terrifying experiences - and lived. These men and women have cheated death. On the Web, CBS.com gives you an in-depth look at how cheating death can affect your life.

48 HOURS: Cheating Death, Monday, September 7 10PM ET, Check local listings

Among those you'll meet on this week's show:
Survival-Related Sites: The Net has all sorts of information about risk rates, airline safety, and behavior under stress. Check out a few of the best sites.
  • A pilot who crash-landed a packed passenger plane that had lost both steering and brakes.
  • A perky grandmother who dealt with jittery carjackers by relaxing them with light-hearted banter. The crime ended in a shootout with police, in which one of the carjackers was caught, and the other killed. The grandmother was unhurt. (See the video clip above left.)
  • David Gelernter, a Yale computer science professor who staggered to the hospital on his own after being, as he says, "blown up" by one of Ted Kaczynski's mail bombs. Now recovering, he talks about his ordeal.
  • An inexperienced skydiver who found herself aboard a plane that was nosediving toward the ground. She survived to skydive again.
  • A Closer Look: 30 Minutes That Changed Everything: When Debbie McKelvey and her two children walked away from a horrific plane crash (pictured above), their lives were irrevocably changed. Find out how.

    Email Us: Do you know a great story that you think 48 Hours should cover? Let us know. Or, just tell us what you thought of this week's show and site.

    produced by David Kohn and Dan Milikow