Whether Pell could/should have died or not is totally up for fans to debate. I mean if you believe he can fly faster than a kilometer per second, more power to you. However, this isn't about whether he lived or died. Like I said, he escaped with a few chunks of flesh missing.
Any normal/real individual ESPECIALLY a bird person who needs musculature to fly (ie. land) from that altitude without crushing their spine, brain, etc. wouldn't have survived with a few nasty scars like our friend Pell. Albeit the case of the lady who survived the fall from an airplane, our buddy Pell would have not only suffered damage from the blast, but also would have been left severely disabled if not paralyzed from the fall, especially given where his scars were not enabling him to fly properly. Even if you wanna go with the Ornithological argument that turning completely into a bird may have at least given him near-hollow bones to make his body lighter, birds simplyv aren't designed like our insect friends for heavy impact crash-landings.
Yet he's chillin' in an onsen with his buds.
Oda thought it looked cool. So he created it.
I totally respect and even encourage the fans' desire to discuss it because if you're into that stuff it's fun, but all the reasoning and logic boils down to fan fiction based on a whim of Oda's.