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Old 01-13-2009, 11:24 AM   #41
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:55 AM   #42
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Among the memorable close calls, this one i posted a while back (6/10/08):


As for not wearing seat belt and stayin alive a personal saga: while in the Army, driving an M151 jeep, late at night, with only blackout lights on, on a dirt road during FTX (field training exercise for non-Army) encountered a deuce and half oncoming. Ditto on the lighting, I swerved hit embankment landed upside down. The truck did not stop, just drove on. Recall laying across passenger seat mid flight.

Upon landing after a few moments to regain normal breathing, crawled out from under jeep. The damage, scraped toe of my spit- shined jump boots.
Walked a 1/2 mile to an artillery unit, woke up CO, asked to get a tank retriever, they did not have tow trucks, which he gladly authorized.

He wanted to know who the driver was, I just pointed to my chest. The retriever crane picked up jeep, flipped it right side up,the crew hammered out bent tie rod. Bent broken windshield onto hood, I was back on the road.



An other one with a little more time for experiencing:

On top of 6000' plateau in the Aleutians we loaded up for departure a UH1H helicopter, which was nearly full of fuel, planned to return to pick up 2 persons and their gear after unloading at the LZ. Call came over radio to pilot: there will be no return trip due to weather. Must get everyone and everything of NOW.

Naturally all aboard, helo over gross limit for altitude.
Could get up and fly in ground effect, but no higher. So pilot scooted off to one end of plateau, got up to 100 kts in ground effect (skids 3' off the deck) and dumped the bird over the other side of the mountain.

After looking at the valley bottom approaching through the windscreen for what seemed like forever, he pulled out of the dive pulling 115% power. The drop was 2500 feet or so, finally leveling out at 1800 feet msl. (msl= above mean sea level).
Not sure if the pucker marks ever came out of the seats.

After landing we all hoisted several brews for medicinal calming of nerves. The pilot had a few extra for the unauthorized stressing of airframe and transmission.

Any helicopter pilots would have good appreciation of the feat.

As the Ginzu knife commercial used to say: and there is more. I'll pass on them, some i'd rather prefer to forget.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #43
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Tori (DD) stopped breathing when she was 4 months old and I was the only one home. I'm really glad the paramedics arrived so quickly. Despite a battery of tests and a scene out of ER with doctors everywhere, the reason is undiagnosed to this day, but probably due to heart defect (now fixed). I always imagined myself as someone who handled stressful situations well ( I went around shutting off people's gas when I lived in Northridge during the earthquake), but the paramedics had to guide me into the ambulance as I kept wandering the house looking for her favorite blanket.

Anyone who knows Palm Springs knows the Palms to Pines highway/byway. We took that a couple of years ago when DW was pregnant with our second. DW likes to drive and so she was navigating the twists and turns on the way down to the desert floor. We could see evidence of those who had launched off this road in years past in the canyon below. As a truck is approaching from the opposite direction, a corvette being driven by a large type a-hole pops around it and tries to pass it, and we are a moment from a head on collision. DW manages to take the Jeep up onto the hillside/shoulder and dodge the jerk-mobile. At first I was like, "Hey, what the heck are you doing?!" until the blow by of the corvette shook the whole SUV, then I was singing her praises for saving all four of us. I never saw him coming. I really hope he saw how close he was to death (fiberglass sports car vs. SUV?) and is driving a little safer now.
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:47 PM   #44
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I guess I have had more close calls than I originally posted.......

I used to race road bikes. I lived in a hilly area of southwestern Wisconsin, where there were 1 and a half mile climbs up bluffs. Of course, on the descent we would hit close to 60 mph........

We got a sudden squall during a ride, the rain was horizontal. We started on a descent, and I watched in fascination as the front wheel of my road bike started slowing down, slower and slower, then nearly stopped. I checked my cyclometer and it measured 4 mph, although we were hurtling downward at probably 45 mph.

I got to the bottom shaking, and pulled over. My riding partner pulled up next to me and we found shelter in a bus stop. His only comment?

"That must have been your first experience with hydroplaning. I'm glad you didn't hit the brakes, you would have wiped out for sure". Nice, I had a 200 foot drop on one side, and a guardrail hugging solid rock on the other.......

That slowed down my biking for a few days........
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:35 PM   #45
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Like everyone else, there are many. Funny how you seem to forget them. Must be some sort of defense mechanism.

One which came to mind was a flight into Salt Lake City. The weather was rough and we were bouncing around a lot. Not that unusual, though. I was still reading a magazine as I'm usually a good flyer (used to fly private planes.) On final approach, we hit a shear which dropped the plane 500 ft faster than you can tell it. (The drop is a guess based on my time flying private AC.) My arms flew over my head and the mag hit the ceiling. The pilot aborted the landing and announced that we'd hit a small thunderstorm.

After mushing around over the GSL for an hour we came back and did it right. I still didn't think too much about it. While retrieving my luggage, I overheard a conversation between a couple of "uniformed" airline types discussing the T-storm they had watched off the end of the runway. "Yeah, I was sure they were going to lose flight (whatever ours was!). I saw them fall out of the sky like a brick! Hadda be a miracle they made it."

That's when I started to shake.

Sure I could come up with a dozen more (can think of at least 3 flying related ones - go figure!) but then someone would ask "Bragging or complaining?"
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:00 PM   #46
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I hate to fly. Once, I flew into the "old" Denver airport. We saw huge anvilheads forming, and the turbulence picked up. The pilot came on and said he was going up to 42,000 feet to try to find some smoother air. It didn't help.

He came on a little while later to tell us that the Denver airport was closed and we would be flying around for awhile, but not to worry, we had plenty of fuel......

After flying around for 45 minutes, he said we would be landing. As we came down through the clouds, the plane was bouncing all over the place. When we hit the low clouds, the rain was so bad I couldn't see the end of the wing, even though I was sitting right next to it........

We made the runway and taxied to a stop. On the way out, the flight attendant said: "thank for flying Norhtwest". I asked: "Instrument landing, huh"?? She said, "I can't comment on that"..........
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:03 PM   #47
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Stay on the ground FDude.
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:37 PM   #48
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Stay on the ground FDude.
I always think of myself as "well-grounded".......

This past June, I was out in Bozeman Montana for a work meeting. On the return flight, the pilot seemed anxious to get out of Dodge. We saw why, a huge thunderstorm was approaching. We taxied to the end of the runway, and sat there. He came on the intercom and told us we had to wait because a thunderstorm was right on top of us.

Sure enough, about 3 minutes later the skies opened up, wind rain, and pea-sized hail pelted the fuselage. After about 10 minutes, the rain subsided and a couple little carts came out to check the runway. We got the go ahead and took off.

The plane bounced all over the place on the way up to cruising altitude. We banked to the east and things quieted down. The pilot came on and told us that Bozeman airport was closed because of a new more powerful thunderstorm was hitting there. We probably hit the leading edge of that as we were climbing above it.

Any wonder I don't like to fly??
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:56 PM   #49
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I also nearly met my end in an aircraft.

1983 - My flight instructor and I were approaching an airport with a day time control tower but no radar. A twin engine aircraft reported by radio that he was escorting a friend in a second aircraft that had radio trouble. We were all inbound for landing and about 10 miles out. Our high wing Cessna 150 limited our upward visibility. The other two planes had low wings which limited their downward visibility.

As the instructor and I scanned for the other two planes, the windscreen suddenly filled with fuselage and wings. I could even see the rivets! I pulled power and shoved the control yoke forward while screaming something related to excrement. The instructor took the controls as we dove away to the left. He had been looking down and to the rear when the twin engine plane nearly landed on us.

BTW, I went on to become a private pilot and have never had anything resembling a close call since.
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:32 PM   #50
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I also nearly met my end in an aircraft.

1983 - My flight instructor and I were approaching an airport with a day time control tower but no radar. A twin engine aircraft reported by radio that he was escorting a friend in a second aircraft that had radio trouble. We were all inbound for landing and about 10 miles out. Our high wing Cessna 150 limited our upward visibility. The other two planes had low wings which limited their downward visibility.

As the instructor and I scanned for the other two planes, the windscreen suddenly filled with fuselage and wings. I could even see the rivets! I pulled power and shoved the control yoke forward while screaming something related to excrement. The instructor took the controls as we dove away to the left. He had been looking down and to the rear when the twin engine plane nearly landed on us.

BTW, I went on to become a private pilot and have never had anything resembling a close call since.
See, you "got it out of the way" back then, and it was smooth sailing since........
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #51
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1970- Survived on base landslide while stationed at Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines. Fractured skull and badly torn rotator cuff with shoulder dislocation. Two coworkers killed. To date have had five shoulder surgeries including three total replacements. I always get stopped going through metal detectors.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:07 PM   #52
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1970- Survived on base landslide while stationed at Subic Bay Naval Base, Philippines. Fractured skull and badly torn rotator cuff with shoulder dislocation. Two coworkers killed. To date have had five shoulder surgeries including three total replacements. I always get stopped going through metal detectors.
Ouch!!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:54 PM   #53
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I had a couple of close call while flying with my dad. Once the engine quit while flying over the badlands of North Dakota. I found an airport, while my dad tried to restart the engine, fortunately he got the engine restarted before we got to low.

Second incident was every VFR private pilots worse nightmare, low on fuel, bad weather getting worse, lost in Appalachians Mountains in West Virgina, desperately looking for an airport. We were stuck in the place for 3 days waiting for the weather to clear, but considering the alternative.

It always seems that private pilots have a more than there fair share of near misses, probably why I don't fly anymore. That and it is definitely not LYBM
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:24 PM   #54
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Does night refueling count?

Well outside of thunderstorms that obscured the runway, bird strikes, engine failure, having a guy shut down both engines, flying with students in general, I guess I have not had any...... still you do get real close to those KC-135's, and remember there is a guy like Wahoo waiting to early retire in the other cockpit.... scary..... you bet!
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:40 PM   #55
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Does night refueling count?
...you do get real close to those KC-135's, and remember there is a guy like Wahoo waiting to early retire in the other cockpit.... scary..... you bet!
Were you one of those guys who was always worrying we'd back into you?
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:46 PM   #56
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Nope, we were the ones that pulled along side, dumped gas and lit the burner! Understand it did wonders for night vision!
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:50 PM   #57
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This scenerio happens more often than we realize especially at non-towered airports. When you mix high wing with low wing aircraft in the pattern,there are alot of blind spots even when you are vigilant in your scanning practices. Glad to hear everything turned out OK and you continued your flight training.
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Old 01-13-2009, 09:14 PM   #58
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I guess I have had more close calls than I originally posted.......

I used to race road bikes. I lived in a hilly area of southwestern Wisconsin, where there were 1 and a half mile climbs up bluffs. Of course, on the descent we would hit close to 60 mph........

We got a sudden squall during a ride, the rain was horizontal. We started on a descent, and I watched in fascination as the front wheel of my road bike started slowing down, slower and slower, then nearly stopped. I checked my cyclometer and it measured 4 mph, although we were hurtling downward at probably 45 mph.

I got to the bottom shaking, and pulled over. My riding partner pulled up next to me and we found shelter in a bus stop. His only comment?

"That must have been your first experience with hydroplaning. I'm glad you didn't hit the brakes, you would have wiped out for sure". Nice, I had a 200 foot drop on one side, and a guardrail hugging solid rock on the other.......

That slowed down my biking for a few days........
LOL! Never hydroplaned that badly, but I came down Carson Pass in CA doing about 60 MPH thinking I was Sean Yates. Well, I forgot that I had over inflated my tires to reduce the rolling resistance. The tire didn't blow until the next morning as I was tooling out to breakfast.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:03 AM   #59
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I am only 27 so I still have a few more years for close calls but I did have one when I was 16.

Father asked me the night before if I needed to go to the doctor for my cough. I told him not to worry about it, it wasn't a big deal. Next morning as I am taking doing that deep exhale then inhale breath you take when first getting up, I realize I just exhaled all the air but can't suck any in.

I flew out of my bed. I knew from the past of having held my breath I didn't have much time (poor lung capacity, I had a minute max before I was going to feel the effects). Gesture first at stepmother and realize that she is totally clueless, give up and go straight for the phone to dial 911. As I pick up the phone, stepmom announces loudly that I can't breathe. Ex-military father flies out of bed where he had been sleeping soundly seconds before and yanks my arms above my head. Just enough expansion that my lungs start working.

Calls doc, doc says don't wait, get her here now, I show up in pajamas and they get me on a breathing machine. Turns out bronchitis can act as extreme inflammation and a little piece of phlegm was all it took to close it the rest of the way. Nothing in my lungs, just inflammation. Both my father and I were flabbergasted. I spent the next 3 months on an inhaler to get the bronchitis under control, took 6 months before I could eat something cold without coughing.

I have to say that neither my father or I have really ever had that much adrenaline in our systems before. It was a very rude wakeup for both of us. I am sure the parents in the crowd can imagine how they would react to such a morning wakeup concerning their child...
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:27 PM   #60
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Back in '75, I was driving my '73 MG Midget from Bettendorf IA to the Moline IL airport with a passenger. It was a cold clear night.

Road was two lanes each way, flat and straight with a turn lane in the middle, no barriers, 55 mph.

There were two cars drag racing from the other direction . One of them (Camaro with the back end jacked up) went out of control and slid sideways across the lane in front of the car (large 4-door something) ahead of me.

Car in front slammed on the brakes and t-boned the other car on the passenger's side. I didn't consider hitting the brakes.
(aside: MG Midgets didn't really have brakes in the commonly recognized meaning of the word, and I knew this.)

Everything went into slow motion*. I swerved into the right lane then back to the left and came to a stop in the turn lane in front of the accident.

My passenger looked somewhat dazed. (we were both wearing seatbelts and I credit that with my being able to keep steering.)

My car had shrapnel marks on the driver's door.

We ran over to the smashed cars, both engines were still running. There were three people in the front seat of the large car, all wearing seatbelts and said they were all right. Told them to turn off the engine.

Went to the other car (the drag racer) turned off the engine, there was no one in it. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt and the impact had thrown him out of the car onto the pavement several yards away, he didn't look too good. We put a blanket to keep him warm.

We left as the emergency crews arrived.
---------------------------------------
*I had heard of this phenomena, but had never experienced it before.
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