The Luckiest Flying Ace Alive

Samuel Reason | January 12th, 2018

Captain John Herbert Hedley flew fighter planes for Britain during World War I. He once fell out of his plane and survived. I know what you are thinking, he simply opened his parachute? Well back in the days of World War I, the army thought pilots would not be aggressive enough if they had an easy escape plan. Yes, that is right he fell out of his plane without a parachute and survived!

ichef.bbci.co.uk

Hedley was actually what the Royal Air Force called an Observer during World War I, he was in the back of the aircraft and would shoot at enemy aircraft. Observers were an extra set of eyes for the pilot and would operate any guns aboard also. Basically, he was a gunner, but they were also tasked with keeping the score for their pilots. They would count how many aircrafts their pilot and themselves shot down during the dogfights. Hedley is credited with being a flying ace, as he shot down 11 planes during the war. As aerial fighting was still very new at the time, being a skilled pilot and gunner could pretty much give your nation the edge during the battle of the skies.

Fighter aces came images of cult heroes to the public, especially if you had such an amazing tale as Captain Herbert! In January 1918, during a dogfight Lieutenant Makepeace steered his Bristol F.2B fighter plane into an immense dive to escape an enemy fighter on his tail. The huge amount of force experienced by the negative Gs caused gunner Hedley to be thrown out of the seat! Suddenly Hedley was falling in the skies with no parachute!

Essentially Hedley bound to die, or was there a way out? Hedley tumbled in the air for hundreds of feet, but so did the F.2B as it continued to dive. The gunner and the plane suddenly came together and Hedley grabbed on to the top set of wings, it was his only hope! He pulled himself back into his cockpit, and without fear continued the fight.

Such an amazing tale earned him the title of “The Luckiest Man Alive” from the Chicago Tribune. But was it actually possible? Well, some aviators and scientist definitely do believe it was true, the theory is that Hedley managed to get stuck in his plane’s slipstream which caused him to fall at the same speed as the plane. And his luck does not stop there.

In March 1918, Hedley was shot down but miraculously was able to crash land without any injury. He survived being imprisoned by the enemy until the end of the war. He then moved to America and made his living giving lectures about his amazing dogfights.

Next Article
  • The Myth Of Sharks Curing Cancer

    One great myth that was making rounds across the scientific world and across all the internet was that sharks had suddenly become the cure for cancer. And they are indeed incredible animals, probably one of the world’s most famous creatures: everyone knows what a shark is. Some people are fascinated and some people shudder in...

    Read More
  • Surgery Saves Man’s Sight With Bionic Eyes

    One blind man has felt the miracle that is medical breakthroughs and modern science. John Jameson from Texas had been blind for over 40 years due to a terrible infection that resulted in the loss of his vision. Jameson eventually gave up on trying to restore his vision, deciding to accept his fate of being...

    Read More
  • President McKinley Gave Away His Lucky Charm And Was Assassinated

    Not everyone is into superstition, and even fewer people believe in lucky charms or voodoo spells. Definitely, in this modern day and age, society has a tendency to champion science over superstitious traditions that are seen as the old ways. But during 1887 when William Mckinley was a young man, lucky charms were all the...

    Read More
  • The Peruvian Hospital Ship In Operation Since 1862

    Yapura is a ship that was commissioned to be built in 1861 alongside its sister boat the Yavari, and she was built to be used on the Lake Titicaca. Aptly named after the Javary river that runs through the Loreto Region of Peru, this in itself is nothing special - until you learn the Yavari...

    Read More
  • 20 Timeless Ancient Beauty Secrets Still Used Today

    Have you ever wondered where beauty regimes came from? Ancient beauty regimes have been happening for thousands of years. From the Aztecs to the Egyptians and from the Greeks to Romans, ancient beauty secrets are all around us. Highlighting hair and facial masks have been circulating through the ages. These ancient beauty secrets have been...

    Read More
  • 20 Of The Most Amazing Things You Can Only Find In Japan

    Japan is an incredibly interesting country that should be on your bucket list to visit if you haven't already. They are ahead of the curve in technology compared to most of the world, and have a fascinating culture that is unique in many ways. So you're bound to find things in the Land of The...

    Read More
  • The World’s Rarest Pasta Are Known As The Threads Of God

    If you would like to eat what is known as the Threads of God then you will need to first embark and complete a 20-mile pilgrimage. Twice a year, pilgrims come to Sardinia to feast on the world’s rarest pasta. Trekking from the city of Nuoro to the village of Lula, all through the night...

    Read More
  • The Eerie Story Of The Phantom Barber

    When it comes to haunted lore, then the Southern States of America have their fair share of stories & tales. You can find cities in the Savannah that have a rich history of being haunted. And of course, we have all the unexplained ghost stories that come out of New Orleans and Charleston. For many...

    Read More