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Fighter Pilots facts

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Between 1970 and 1973, four Israeli fighter pilots translated The Hobbit from English to Hebrew to pass the time in an Egyptian prison, where they were held as POWs. The pilots' translation was published commercially in 1977, and up until 2012 was considered the best Hebrew version of the book.

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In 1970, a fighter pilot was forced to eject during a training mission. His plane, however, righted itself and continued flying for miles, finally touching down gently in a farmer's field. It earned the nickname "The Cornfield Bomber."

What do fighter pilots do?

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  1. The F-82 "Twin Mustang" fighter plane, designed to escort bombers thousands of miles to Tokyo, was literally two P-51 Mustangs joined at the wing. Both cockpits were fully functional, so one pilot could sleep while the other flew the plane on missions that could last up to 12 hours.

  2. A B-17 bomber named Old 666 survived being attacked by 20 Japanese fighters for 40 minutes. The pilot and a gunner earned the Medal of Honor, the rest of the crew each received the Distinguished Service Cross. To this day, they're the most decorated American aircrew in history.

  3. A fighter pilot who was rescued in Vietnam never had a chance to thank the helicopter pilot who rescued him. (Or even knew who it was). Years later as a co-pilot for TWA, his flight engineer turned out to be his rescuer.

  4. Morgan Freeman turned down a drama scholarship because he dreamed of being an Air Force fighter pilot. He spent four years as a tracking radar repairman. At age 65, he finally earned his private pilot license.

  5. William Rankin, a fighter pilot who survived ejecting into a thunderstorm. He encountered very low temperature, frostbite, massive wind and lightning, severe decompression, and nearly drowned from breathing in rain water. Overall, he was in the cloud for more than 40 minutes.

  6. In 1957 a US Air Force pilot caught in bad weather discovered his prototype jet fighter had no cockpit lighting. He managed to navigate and land the aircraft by periodically flicking a Zippo cigarette lighter and using the flame to read the instruments.

  7. Franz Stigler, a German ace fighter pilot who risked his life to spare and then save the lives of 9 Americans by escorting their injured B-17 bomber out of Germany. The incident would later be called "the most incredible encounter between enemies in World War II."

  8. In 1976, a Soviet pilot defected to Japan in his advanced MiG-25 fighter, which Russia demanded be returned. Japan complied, but only after allowing American engineers to examine the aircraft. Japan then shipped it back piece by piece, and billed Russia $40,000 in transport and labor costs.

  9. The 1980 comedy "Airplane!" is a remake of the 1957 drama "Zero Hour!" Both are about a guilt-stricken fighter pilot who called upon to land a plane after the crew and several passengers fall ill after eating fish. Many of the lines in "Airplane!" were taken verbatim from "Zero Hour!"

  10. Bob Barker was trained as a Navy fighter pilot in WW2, but wasn't sent to a fleet squadron in time to fight. He once said: "I was all ready to go, and when the enemy heard that I was headed for the Pacific, they surrendered. That was the end of World War II."

fighter pilots facts
What country has the best fighter pilots?

Why fighter pilots wear masks?

You can easily fact check why fighter pilots wear g suits by examining the linked well-known sources.

Morgan Freeman turned down a drama scholarship because he dreamed of being an Air Force fighter pilot. He spent four years as a tracking radar repairman. At age 65, he finally earned his private pilot license.

O'Hare airport is named after an American fighter pilot who was the lone defender during a attack on his carrier, then was killed leading the first night defense against a Kamikaze attack. Two years earlier, his own father was murdered for being the only man willing to testify against Al Capone. - source

Part of the reason fighter pilots usually don't pass out under intense G-forces is because of their G-suit. Under intense force, the suit squeezes the legs extremely hard to prevent as much blood as possible from leaving the head, allowing some pilots to go up to 9 g's without passing out - source

In 1953, a North Korean fighter pilot defected to South Korea with his MiG-15 and was rewarded $100,000 from the United States

In 1953, a North Korean fighter pilot defected to South Korea with his MiG-15 and was rewarded $100,000 from the United States. - source

When do fighter pilots retire?

The corn field bomber. A fighter jet that landed itself on a cornfield after the pilot ejected from it following an unrecoverable spin. His act of ejection changed the center of gravity of the plane allowing it recover. It went back into service after minor repair work.

How fighter pilots get their call signs?

While Nixon was on his way to a Syria, their fighter jets intercepted Air Force One to act as escorts, however the pilot was not informed and took evasive action, sending passengers flying throughout the plane.

Glenn Howerton, of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, was born in Japan, is the son of a decorated fighter pilot, is fluent in Mandarin, Korean, French, Spanish and can speak some German and Farsi, and considered studying Aerospace Engineering at Auburn before pursuing acting

In WWII, John T. "Mike" Wolf joined the navy to become a pilot. Even though he had poor eyesight, he passed his physical when the doctor got distracted and forgot to give him the eye exam. Lt. Wolf went on to become a highly decorated fighter pilot ace, shooting down 7 Japanese planes.

A fighter jet pilot shot his own plane down by flying into his own bullets

F-35B Fighter Pilots have a Helmet that accesses 6 cameras around the body of the plane, allowing them to basically see through the plane. Also, it costs $400,000.

What do fighter pilots say when they fire?

Orestes Lorenzo, a Cuban fighter pilot who defected to the US. He flew to Florida in a MiG-23 and requested his family join him, when his family were banned from leaving Cuba he raised money to buy a plane. He then flew back to Cuba, landed on a highway an bought his family back himself.

In 1989 a Russian fighter jet pilot had to eject from his airplane causing the aircraft to fly pilotless over Western Europe and crashed into a solitary house in Belgium killing a 19-year old man that was taking a nap for his finals

During the second world war a Soviet pilot was shot down while returning from a reconnaissance misson and hid in the nearby woods, When a German fighter pilot landed nearby to investigate, the soviet pilot rushed out, stole the Germans plane, and flew home.

Kara Hultgreen became the first female fighter pilot, despite having low scores which normally would end your career. She later fatally crashed her F-14 in a landing attempt.

How fighter pilots fall asleep?

Han Solo was once an Imperial TIE fighter pilot before rebelling against his chain of command when his commanding officer was about to beat Chewbacca with a neuronic whip.

During the Korean war, pilot James Risner chased a Russian MiG pilot back to his base in China and while flying between hangars and avoiding anti-aircraft fire, he shot it down into parked fighters.

Modern U.S swinging started in World War II amongst fighter pilots who shared wives as a bonding ritual, with a tacit understanding that the 2/3 of husbands who survived would look after the widows

An American WWII fighter pilot tried to open fire on a Japanese spy plane only to find his guns were jammed. So he used his propeller as a giant buzzsaw and chopped the tail off the enemy plane.

In 1967, a fighter pilot purposely flew through enemy air defenses to make enemy aircraft leave him alone, then flew his damaged aircraft back into combat and destroyed two missile sites defending a target. Allowing 70 of the 72 other friendly aircraft to survive the mission.

During a training exercise, an F-106 fighter jet entered a flat spin, causing the pilot to bail out. Instead of crashing, the jet continued flying and landed on its belly in a field, only suffering minor damages.

In 1989, a pilotless Soviet Air Force jet fighter crashed into a house in Belgium, killing one person. The pilot had ejected over an hour earlier over Poland after experiencing technical problems.

Chuck Yeager (first man to officially break the sound barrier) as a fighter pilot in WW2 downed five enemy aircraft in a single mission - Two of these kills were scored without firing a single shot.

Ray Holmes, an RAF Pilot who intentionally rammed a German Bomber with his Fighter to stop it bombing Buckingham Palace, bailed out, then went drinking.

Beate Uhse was a stuntwoman and Luftwaffe pilot in WWII, ferrying around planes and jet fighters. After the war she started a mail order business sending out pamphlets teaching young girls about the rhythm method, which became the world's first sex shop and later a €280 million business.

In 1965 Pakistani pilot M.M. Alam shot down five jet fighters in less than a minute – the first four within 30 seconds, establishing a world record.

Soviet pilots delivered MiG-29 fighter jets to Yugoslavia wearing suits and ties, because they had to go back on a civilian flight, and there was no place for luggage.

WWII fighter pilot James Howard won the medal of honor for single handedly taking on 30+ German fighter planes all by himself to protect a group of American bomber planes.

A pilot named William Overstreet flew his P-51 between the legs of the Eiffel Tower in pursuit of a German fighter, shooting down the plane and raising morale of French resistance fighters.

Only one F-117 fighter has ever been shot down in combat, the pilot, who ejected and was rescued behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia, opened a bakery and years later became friends with the man who fired the SAM missile

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Fighter Pilots. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Fighter Pilots so important!

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