Therein lies a popular misconception, that these were perfectly good aircraft. The only time I ever landed in a military aircraft it had engine trouble. For all I know the rest just flew into the wild blue yonder never to be seen again.
I have to admit, I worked for a colonel who once lost 4 engines en route to England. Of course, the B-36 he was piloting had 10, so as he said, it was no big deal.
As an ROTC cadet, I got to take an orientation flight in a T-33 jet trainer. I still remember what the pilot told me: "Remember one thing: if I say 'bail out' and you say 'what?' you'll be talking to an empty cockpit.
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
I have more than 20,000 hours over a 30 year period flying in light aircraft and never thought of jumping out. The time the airplane caught fire at 17,500’ over the Sierra Madre was a bit intense but a good dive put it out. Another time the engine disassembled itself over Phoenix but we barely made it to Sky Harbot and even then it was better than jumping.
A pilot once told me that his brother’s chute didn’t open during a jump and he survived. I never did confirm that but it made a pretty good story.
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