YouTube / FUNKER530 - Veteran Community & Combat Footage
May 14, 2009, was supposed to be a normal and uneventful day for two British Harrier GR.9 jet fighters. Both planes were safely returning from a mission in Afghanistan when one of the Harriers received a missile alert warning that a surface-to-air missile has been detected.
In response, the plane deployed its flares to confuse the missiles and then tried to land. However, the aircraft came up too short and 6,500 ft higher than normal. The pilot also decided to switch to full power right before landing as it tried to do a go-around, but it was too late.
The Harrier’s tale struck the ground and the landing gear readily collapsed due to the impact, forcing the plane to skid for around 4,000 ft.
But what caught everyone’s attention was the pilot’s determination to stay inside the armed plane for almost the entire time. According to reports, the pilot tried his best to avoid crashing into the other four aircraft waiting to take off.
The pilot, Flight Lieutenant Martin Pert, was only forced to eject when the flames had reached the cockpit.
Shockingly, Pert only suffered from minor injuries during the ejection and was treated at Kandahar base’s hospital. What a legend!