I worked the ECM evening shift, so I was trying to sleep. I had been in Takhli for awhile so I was used to sleeping thru 4 afterburners kicking in, one after the other. This time 3 afterburners kicked in, but when the 4th didn't the silence woke me up. Just as I hopped out of the top bunk the plane exploded which shook the barracks enough to scare the hell out of us.
We went running towards the sound. when we got to the end of the barracks we could not see the plane because their was a small hill between the road and the plane, but we could see the flames!!
By the time we got over the hill the fire trucks were there foaming down the flames on the wing tips, but the heat was so bad they could not get to the cockpit. Soon the fire helicopter arrived and helped cool the plane enough a very brave fireman who was also continuously being sprayed made it to the pilot and pulled him out.
It was Horrific!
I just hope the pilot passed out Quickly so he didn't have to suffer too long.
After the plane cooled they put it in a hanger.
When I saw it the whole plane was burnt and melted, except where the pilot was. Where his body, helmet, arms, and legs had been the controls and seat were still looked normal.
In my opinion the pilot was a hero, but so was the man that risked the fire to pull him out.
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