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
  • Human Saliva Contains A Compound More Powerful Than Morphine

    In need for some natural painkillers or just having a bad day? Well then you may just be able to spit on yourself, yes that is right human saliva contains a natural ingredient that is more powerful than morphine. In fact, the substance that scientists have found recently is actually six times more potent than...

    Read More
  • Man Survives Without Eating For Over A Year

    At the most, you can survive without food for a couple of weeks, occasionally a bit longer but for most people starvation will kill you. But the limits on how long people can go without eating are actually very complicated and are more of a case by case basis. Without water, people can only really...

    Read More
  • Ancient Underground City Of Derinkuyu

    If you are looking for your next tourist destination think about checking out the ancient underground city of Derinkuyu in Cappadocia the central Anatolia region of Turkey. A beautiful natural wonder in itself with caverns and caves but it is also a place that has an extensive subterranean city. Secret tunnels and underground dwellings that...

    Read More
  • Most Of Your Mobile Phone Batteries Are Simply Resold

    Less and less cell phone batteries fail during the warranty period now than ever before and this is due to the move to lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion is less temperamental than the nickel-based predecessors and also needs very little preparation to put into phones. However, that being said the return volume for batteries keeps on going...

    Read More
  • These Most Charitable Celebs Have Helped Countless People

    Some celebrities have more power and money us ordinary people can imagine. Even though directors, musicians, and athletes live in luxury with flashy cars, expensive mansions, and wild vacations, some celebs do have a softer side to give something back to those who need it the most. Thankfully, they use their voices and wallets to...

    Read More
  • Most Powerful Men Throughout History

    History is very powerful. We don’t always realize the influence it has on us. Many men have been involved in affecting the way we live today. Men with great minds, men who have done great acts or have created movements of thought. Tracing how their actions affect us can actually feel liberating and help us...

    Read More
  • Blue Streetlights Reduce Crime And Suicides

    In an interesting development, it is thought that blue streetlights are helping reducing crime and suicides in Japan and Scotland. In Tokyo, an increasing amount of railway companies have decided to install blue streetlights and blue light emitting apparatus at stations as it is becoming evident that the blue lights to help prevent people committing...

    Read More
  • Rare Whale Puke Ends Up In Perfume

    Known as ambergris, you may be forgiven for thinking it is a rare flower or natural element that smells beautiful - especially when you learn it is sought out heavily by perfumeries. In fact, reading any bottle of perfume you may see ambergris listed on the ingredients. It is used as a binding agent in...

    Read More