Selasa, 15 Januari 2013

Share: Top 5 Most Outstanding Pilots

5. Jessica Cox: the first pilot with no arms

Jessica Cox suffered a rare birth defect and was born without arms. None of the prenatal tests her mother took showed there was anything wrong with her. And yet she was born with this rare congenital disease, but also with a great spirit. The psychology graduate can write, type, drive a car, brush her hair and talk on her phone simply using her feet. Ms Cox, from Tuscon, Arizona, USA, is also a former dancer and double black belt in Tai Kwon-Do. She has a no-restrictions driving license, she flies planes and she can type 25 words a minute.

The plane she is flying is called an Ercoupe and it is one of the few airplanes to be made and certified without pedals. Without rudder pedals Jessica is free to use her feet as hands. It took her three years instead of the usual six months to complete her lightweight aircraft license. She had three flying instructors and practiced 89 hours of flying, becoming the first pilot with no arms.
4. Ian Fortune: the pilot who managed to safely land a helicopter with 20 people after being shot in the face

A British military pilot managed to get twenty passengers to the ground despite a bullet between his eyes. Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune was ferrying the wounded from a battle between American troops and the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As he was taking off with a full load of casualties, a bullet ricocheted through the helicopter and struck Fortune in the face. Further rounds then struck the helicopter’s automatic stabilization system, shutting it down and making it extremely difficult to fly.
Despite blood streaming into his eyes, Flight Lt Fortune battled with the controls for eight minutes and managed to get the casualties back to Camp Bastion. TV Presenter Mike Brewer was on the helicopter when the incident took place. He told Sky News: “It was terrifying. We came under fire just as the ramp was closing. Then just after we’d taken off, the Chinook suddenly lurched from side to side and we heard the pilot had been shot. The only reason we didn’t plunge straight back into the desert was because of the sheer bravery and skill of Ian and the rest of the crew. They’re all heroes.”
3. Frank Vogt: the traffic pilot who landed on Jersey turnpike

Frank Vogt is a traffic pilot whose Cessna lost oil pressure 1200 feet off the ground. In the early dawn darkness, the ground looked like one big mass of black void – except the turnpike. “I knew it was wide enough, I knew it was straight enough. There weren’t any wires, and I didn’t see many overpasses,” Vogt said. He reasoned that since the traffic was still light, there would be enough space between the cars so that they could slow down and let him in. His hastily concocted plan worked perfectly. He even managed to pull his Cessna to the side of the road, although the inevitable rubbernecking — completely justified in this case — still blocked traffic a mile-and-a-half in both directions.
2. Evan Graham: the solo pilot who could fly five different aircrafts by the age of 16

Evan Graham celebrated his 16th birthday (on August 6) by soloing five different aircrafts: a vintage WWII L-4 Piper Cub taildrager, a R-22 Robinson helicopter, a Cessna 150 Aerobat, a Robinson 44 Raven II and a 1965 Cessna 150-150 – setting the world record for the youngest solo pilot to fly five different aircrafts. On a grass runway, with three flight instructors present and three sign offs, Evan logged 2 hours of solo time in 5 different aircrafts, ending the morning before noon with the traditional bucket drench.
1. James Terry: the pilot who could fix his airplane from the outside while flying

One of the difficulties of air travel is the impossibility of making repairs outside of the cockpit while the ship is in flight. This holds particularly true when the trouble is centered around the tail. Look closely at the photo: yup, that’s James Terry of Miami, Florida, an inventor who demonstrated his safety device for repairing airplanes while flying! From the June 1930 edition of Modern Mechanic.

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