Military-Grade Awesome

A ride from Hell in an F-14 Tomcat

Meet Pete Purvis, Grumman Aviation test pilot.

The day was June 20, 1973, the airplane was the US Navy’s Fighter of the Future, pre-production F-14 Tomcat #6, and the story is riveting. While test firing an AIM-7 Sparrow missile underneath the future Top-Gun star, something went terribly, terribly wrong.

Luckily for Pete, he and his Radio Intercept Officer (RIO) both survived, and luckily for us, the entire story of that wild day has been told in written form by Mr Purvis himself and available to read as a PDF on Read the day I shot Myself Down.

In fact, the entire website is worth a look, as there are pics, stories and video from some of the most harrowing moments in aviation, along with lots of diagrams and factoids. The perfect way to kill a few hours before the weekend.

Thinderchicken meets Thunderbutt!

Beware however, as it’s another one of them websites where it is easy to get lost in, wondering how it suddenly got dark outside. Or light, as the case may be.

That's gonna leave a mark...

  • The Thunderbirds didn't do that stunt when I saw their show! I feel cheated.

  • That shot with the T-Bird is now among my favorite on the internet.

  • Thanks. Due to this website, my wife is now pissed that I spent all Saturday morning reading the interwebs instead of spending time with her. I would blame Charles, but Sparky is definitely the culprit.

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