I’ve had a couple of eyebrow raising moments in the cockpit over the past year. What keeps me coming back for more — besides the fact that I just love to fly — is the notion that a fair number of aviators have been through far worse, often bizzare mechanical breakdowns like the one-in-a-billion United 232 hydraulic failure.
Aside from their entertainment value, they teach a valuable lesson: keep your cool, apply good judgement, rely on your training, and you’ll be amazed at what can be overcome.
A former Navy A-6 pilot went through just such an incident during the Gulf War when his bombardier/naviagor’s ejection seat malfunctioned in spectacular fashion. He refers to the “luck of the Irish” — I can only assume he’s not talking about a football team from North Bend, Indiana — but I think you’ll agree that for every bit of luck there was twice as much professionalism and talent from all involved which saw this thing through to a happy end.
Anyway, read through the story. It comes with photos, video clips, audio recordings, and eyewitness accounts that take you through the incident from every angle.