Sat, Mar 06, 2010
Credited With Saving The Lives Of 20 People In The
Reports of some heroic flying are coming out of Afghanistan,
where an RAF Chinook pilot was reportedly hit by a Taliban bullet
between the eyes, but continued his mission saving the lives of the
casualties he had flown in to rescue.
The pilots name: Flight Lieutenant Ian Fortune.
According the British Newspaper "The Sun", Fortune had flown
into the area to pick up casualties from a firefight near Garmsir
in Helmand Province between U.S. and Afghan forces and some
heavily-armed rebels. The Chinook came under attack as he circled
the troops, and continued taking fire as the casualties were being
Fortune was hit as he lifted off the ground. A round reportedly
struck his helmet on the attachment rail for night vision goggles,
penetrated the helmet, and hit him between the eyes. His head was
knocked back and he was bleeding.
The aircraft also sustained damage to its controls, which shut
down its stabilization system.
Flt. Lt. Fortune managed somehow to fly the aircraft some 8
minutes with it "lurching from side to side" before landing at Camp
Bastion. He was taken to a field hospital and treated for his
injuries. Said one senior RAF source: "This could have become one
of the worst incidents of the conflict. If the bullet had hit the
pilot a millimeter lower, those on board wouldn't have stood a
chance. And had it not been for the skill of the pilot the result
would have been the same."
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