‘Out of control, I reached for the “D” ejection handle between my legs. I grasped it but did not pull it, as I realized that being inverted the ejection would slam me into the dirt and I would die.
‘I did not immediately know what caused this. However I thought raising the flaps/slats might help. Unfortunately, when I moved the flap handle back up, nothing happened. They were still locked in position.
‘I thought I would have to still eject when I got over the water a couple of miles ahead, but I did not have to do so. Climbing to 15,000 feet, I became an ersatz test pilot, trying to see at what speed I could still maintain control. It was around 230 knots or so. Therefore I maintained 240 knots until I touched down on our 12,000-foot runway.
‘After revisiting this incident so many years later, I am now wondering if I should have let the aircraft roll all the way around, 360°.
‘Of course my natural instinct was to fight it. I had full opposite stick, full left rudder, and full asymmetrical thrust (‘burner in one engine and much less in the other) before I reached for the ejection handle. But by then I was inverted.’
‘Putting in all those extreme and opposite controls stopped the roll as intended, but they stopped the roll upside down and did nothing to roll back upright… until I gained more airspeed.’
Photo credit: U.S. Navy
The F-104 Starfighter Designed as a supersonic superiority fighter, the F-104 Starfighter was produced in… Read More
The C-130 Hercules The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission.… Read More
Joe “Hoser” Satrapa No dissertation on present-day section tactics, or on naval aviation in general,… Read More
The Black Hawk Multirole Helicopter The Black Hawk is the military's most versatile helicopter, suited… Read More
AGM-183A ARRW with live warhead in Guam Andersen Air Force Base (AFB) on Feb. 27,… Read More
The Mirage IV The Suez crisis in October 1956 prompted France to look into setting… Read More