Did I escape unharmed from an explosion like this one?
Owing to the intense interest from my last article I'm going to tell you how I saved a military jet from exploding, and me dying (yet again).
I've never told this story publicly before. But now that my contract of non-disclosure has long expired, I can reveal it. (Hope I don't get a knock on the door from some stern faced officials who take me off to a bare room lit only by a single bulb and interrogate me relentlessly).
It started on a clear blue summer's day many years ago. As you know from my other posts, I was a photographer with our country's air force.
Today I was designated to fly in a two seat Strikemaster jet to take aerial photos of formations and other such stuff.
In this aircraft the pilot and passenger sit side by side.
It was an interesting job, and I enjoyed this kind of flying work immensely.
This day I was photographing aircraft in an exercise with the army. This meant we landed at a remote runway and operated from tents off a field on the side.
All too soon the sortie was over and we landed. My pilot taxied in and lined the jet up with the other dozen or so aircraft on the field...
...which was slightly sloping.
Little did I know what effect that slope would have on my life in the next couple of minutes...
The young pilot got out quickly beside me, clutching his log and flight manuals. After checking that I was ok to exit safely myself, he hurried on to the debriefing tent.
As I started undoing my harness, a fuel tanker pulled up in front of our aircraft, maybe ten feet away. I kept on unbuckling and was about to grab my camera where I had left it on the pilot's seat, when something made me look up.
We were slowly moving forward!
I blinked a couple of times at the view of the truck ahead through the perspex cockpit windscreen, then my disbelief turned to horror.
Here I was trapped in a moving aircraft, which was gathering speed. It would hit the fuel tanker ahead in a matter of seconds!
In that moment, many alternatives flashed before my eyes.
I could jump out. But then I might not get away in time and be incinerated along with several other aircraft together with the crew round us.
I could eject the seat. No... that was definitely a dangerous move on the ground, especially when I wasn't strapped in. And I had never been trained to do this.
I could shout out. But the nearest person that could help was several aircraft away. They would never get to me in time.
I searched frantically in the cockpit for something that looked like a handbrake. Nothing!
The aircraft was getting closer to the tanker, maybe 8 feet away now. I could see the driver starting to get out of his cab, oblivious to what was happening.
Then - from somewhere, inspiration kicked in. My memory raced.
Many years ago, I read that some planes were controlled by foot brakes at the top of the rudder pedals. You could touch one or the other to brake and turn the aircraft on the ground.
Immediately I jammed my feet on the top of the pedals and pushed both of them, hard.
There was a slight lurch and the aircraft stopped!
I was shaking. The relief was overwhelming.
I couldn't believe it... I had stopped a runaway aircraft and potentially saved the air force many millions of dollars - as well as keeping myself alive.
Not sure what to do next, I stayed there until one of the aircraft technicians came to see why I was taking so long getting out. I briefly explained what had happened, and he went straight to the park brake I had never seen - and applied it. Whew.
The incident was never reported, as far as I know. I never talked about the event to the pilot who had forgotten to pull the park brake on. And he probably went on to higher responsibilities, as clever people often do.
And I lived to fly another day.
What this experience has to do with the lottery is simple and affects YOU...
Knowledge is power.
I drew on a slim piece of information that had sat at the back of my brain - until the instant I needed it. And it saved my bacon.
As a lotto player, you have to make playing decisions too, based on what you know. Will the next game bring you winnings from your Silver Lotto System? And how will you know?
That's why I developed LottoPredict. It predicts the best day to play for your game. And stops you playing on the worst day.
It's like the handbrake on my jet... unless you can find and use it, you're a dead lottery duck!
Ken, Still shaking from my win, bought your Silver Lotto system last year and have played lotto regularly since, definite small wins and a few no wins, until last night. Checked my ticket online and I have won 1st division $22,236,652.87. Your system works. Regards, Jason