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Home My Accident
Accident - Page 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Arthur D Piercy   
Monday, 13 July 2009 10:03
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In all our training we were taught to break towards the missile. This could or should create a tracking problem for the missile and cause it to possibly overshoot.

But faced with reality I found it took a lot of willpower to fly towards  something I knew was trying to kill me. However, I kept breaking towards it and I watched it corkscrew over my right wing and disappear behind me. I thought it had missed until I heard a dull thud and felt a light bump on the aircraft. I immediately scanned all the gauges but there was not indication of any damage. When I looked up again the Mig flew over the canopy and disappeared behind me as well.

I immediately informed the leader that I thought I might have been hit and his reaction was: "OK let’s go home." I did not need a second invitation and I rolled the aircraft onto its back and headed for the ground. With hindsight it appeared that the whole fight lasted no more than 60 seconds from the time we pitched until I got the ‘go home’ command.

This is perhaps where I got a fright for the first time. I had not retarded the throttle any and I was rushing at the ground in a vertical dive. When I pulled the stick into my stomach to recover from the dive all that initially happen was the aircraft changed attitude but not direction. The momentum was so great the aircraft carried on descending. Just when I thought that this is the end of me, the aircraft bottomed out just above the trees.

With all this rolling and diving I was separated from my leader and had no idea where he could be. Just then I started getting a radar warning audio in my helmet from my 6 o’clock (from behind). Some radar was looking at me. Was it the anti aircraft batteries or was it the Mig? I radioed to the boss that I thought someone was behind me. His reaction was to tell me get as low as I can, as fast as I can and not to turn to look behind me. My first reaction was - I was so low I was raising a dust cloud like those crazy American Road Runner cartoons. The leader said he could not see any dust trails so I eased the aircraft lower. The radio alt read 50' and the speed approximate 730-740 knots.

At this stage I was beginning to think that I’d over-reacted and that I might not have been hit. Had I got out of the fight too early? The aircraft was performing as if there was nothing wrong with it. No vibrations and no handling difficulties. Oh well tomorrow I'll be back I thought. It was now about five minutes later and halfway home when the first warning light flashed on. EP pump failure. Instinct must have taken over because I thought my first reaction was to call the boss and tell him I have a failure. He pulled out his emergency checklist, and started reading the failure procedures for me. That is when I realised that all the necessary switches had been set. I don't remember doing them.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 December 2011 23:11
 

Testimonials

Extracts from a testimonial recieved from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

"I would like to thank Arthur Piercy for inspiring us. We need to always have driven and positive human beings like him, who don't constantly dwell on the ills of the past but on the possibilties of the future" (Zola)

"To me the important points that he made were that one's life is very important and it is that indiviual's responsibility to take care of it no matter what; and that determination can conquerany obstacle" (David)

"I was humbled by his humility, determination and passion for life. Nothing can and will stand in his way and I admire it about him. He just opened my eyes to the fact that if you want to you can, all you need is determination" (Ntombi) 

"Indeed your response to a life changing circumstance certainly places you in a special class, somewhere above the rest of us. But your incredible sense of humour, your humaness - those form the bridge that allows ordinary human beings to rub shoulders with you and face their own, smaller situations, encouraged. Thank you for that." Nadia Coetzee : Director: Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services.

 
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