'shot' in the foot

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Brian's picture
Joined: 18/05/2009
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'shot' in the foot

The French mob gathered once more on Base Arienne 115, for yet another exciting aerial incident.
Subject this time was an RAF Javelin inbound from Malta which had just lowered its gear for landing. Problem was that the left main wheel refused to descend as ordered.
Not wanting to risk coming in with a fair amount of fuel still on board, the pilot had to orbit the field until he'd used up several hundred pounds. He gave his navigator the option of ejecting, but this guy deceided to stay with it rather than trusting a piece of silk.
Some fifty minutes later, the aircraft began its final approach and touched down perfectly. Still moving at 90mph or so, the pilot could no longer hold up the port wing.
What happened then still raises a chortle some fourty-odd years later. The french guys in their desire to be close to the action, had gathered as close to the runway as possible. As the Javelin's port wing hit the tarmac it slewed off and came grinding over the grass still doing a rate of knots. The french scattered frantically in all directions reminding me of a well-kicked ant heap. That'll teach the ghouls thought I!
Unfortunately, they had the last laugh though. Thinking his machine might blow up, the driver leapt from his cockpit with too much speed, landed in an awkward sprawl and broke his ankle!