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26Pizza pilot

In 2014, an airline pilot ordered 30 pizzas for his passengers, after finding out they would be delayed 2 hours for weather. The pizzas were delivered within 30 minutes by Domino’s and were cleared by security and sent directly to the plane in an official airport vehicle.

27. NASA pilots routinely intercepted and defeated U.S. Navy Phantom II's in mock dogfights, until complaints from the Navy put an end to the harassment.

28. Hazel Ying Lee who was a Chinese-American World War 2 pilot, had two forced landings. One landing took place in a Kansas wheat field. A farmer, pitchfork in hand, chased her around the plane while shouting to his neighbors that the Japanese had invaded the Kansas.

29. Without notice or warning to Boeing executives, test pilot Tex Johnson did a barrel roll with his Boeing 707 over Lake Washington in Seattle, at an air show that had a lot of potential customers in attendance. When asked by his boss “What the hell were you doing?” Johnson responded “Selling airplanes.” He was not terminated.

30. In 1953, a North Korean fighter pilot named No Kum Sok defected to South Korea with his MiG-15. He received a reward of $100,000 offered by Operation Moolah for defecting with his aircraft. Operation Moolah was a US Air Force effort during the Korean War to obtain a MiG-15 jet fighter through defection. He claimed not to have heard about this operation prior to his defection.

31Erwin Rommel

In World War 2, German field marshal Erwin Rommel would often personally pilot a reconnaissance aircraft over the battle to view the situation. Although Rommel did not have a pilot's license, his skill with machinery made him a competent pilot, and none of the Luftwaffe officers had the nerve to stop him.

32. In 1916, a German fighter pilot named Manfred von Richthofen was considered a below average pilot who crashed during his first flight at the controls. Upon his death two years, and 80 aerial kills later, the British buried The Red Baron with full military honors out of respect for his skill as an aviator.

33. During the Korean War, Air Force pilot James Robinson Risner successfully “pushed” his wingman’s incapacitated jet fighter into friendly territory using the nose of his own jet, a maneuver that had never been attempted in history.

34. Lockheed U2 pilots were given cyanide suicide pills. After a pilot almost accidentally ingested a suicide pill instead of candy during a flight, the suicide pills were put into boxes to avoid confusion.

35. During World War 2, Russia had an all-female bomber unit flying biplanes against the Germans. While two pilots distracted the searchlights, a third one would cut her engine and glide in to deliver her bombs. Altogether they had flown 23,000 bombing runs and the Germans dubbed them “Night Witches.”

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36Charlie Brown and Franz Stigler

In 1943, a Luftwaffe pilot named Franz Stigler refused to destroy a damaged B-17 Flying Fortress. The German pilot named Charlie Brown escorted the B-17 to the English Channel and then saluted the American pilot and returned home. 40 years later they were reunited and developed a deep friendship that lasted until their deaths.

37. The movie "Behind Enemy Lines" told the story backward. The downed pilot named Scott O'Grady was rescued with full NATO cooperation and was in fact put into danger by a US general releasing information to the press. The pilot sued Fox over the movie and they settled out of court.

38. In 2014, pilot United Flight 1637 suffered a heart attack mid-flight, and so an off-duty air force captain, Mike Gongol, who was a passenger had to help land the plane, saving 160 lives. He knew he had to help when he heard the PA announcement “are there any non-revenue pilots on board, please ring your call button.”

39. German World War 2 pilots in North Africa would fix bottles of Coca Cola to the underside of their wings so that the drink would cool at high altitude and be ready to drink after landing.

40. The most isolated human being ever was Alfred Worden, command module pilot of Apollo 15, who in lunar orbit was at a maximum distance of 2,235 miles (3,597 km) from his fellow astronauts on the surface. While on the other side of the Moon, no communication with Earth or his comrades was possible.

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41Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet

During the late World War 2, the Nazis designed a plane named the Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet. It flew so fast that it was untouchable by enemies, but it went so fast that its own pilots weren't capable of shooting enemy aircrafts before their plane flew past their adversaries.

42. In 1985, a Boeing 747 China Airlines Flight 006 tumbled nearly 5.7 miles straight down before the pilots were able to get back control, just seconds before crashing. No one died.

43. World War 2 fighter pilot James Howard won the medal of honor for single-handedly taking on more than 30 German fighter planes all by himself to protect a group of American bomber planes.

44. In some of the earliest displays of stunt flying, a pilot named Eugène Lefebvre would fly directly at terrified spectators, turning away only at the last second. He is also the first person to die while piloting a powered aircraft and the second person to be killed in a powered airplane crash.

45. In 1959, a pilot named Lt Colonel William Rankin ejected from his plane directly into a violent thunder cloud. The storm winds kept him aloft for 40 minutes, pelting him with hailstones and so much rain that at times he had to hold his breath to keep from drowning in mid-air. He survived.

46Chuck Yeager

Chuck Yeager (first man to officially break the sound barrier) as a fighter pilot in World War 2 downed 5 enemy aircraft in a single mission. Two of these kills were scored without firing a single shot.

47. In the spring of 1944, a pilot named William Overstreet Jr. flew his P-51 Mustang underneath the arches of the Eiffel Tower in pursuit of a German fighter, shooting down the plane and raising morale of French resistance fighters.

48. In 1969, a Swedish pilot named Carl Gustaf von Rosen, disgusted by the genocide of the Biafran people, built his own fighter airplanes and fought the Nigerian Air Force with a band of friends.

49. In 1978, an Australian pilot named Frederick Valentich and his plane disappeared during a supposed UFO encounter. His last communication was “Melbourne that strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again... (two seconds open microphone)... it is hovering and it's not an aircraft...”

50. After both of the leaders of his squadron were shot down over Vietnam in 1967, American fighter pilot Merlyn Dethlefsen flew his damaged fighter back through enemy air defenses to scare off enemy fighters, then knocked out both missile sites defending the target, saving 70 of the 72 friendly aircrafts following him.


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