What could have easily been a catastrophe instead turned out to be the most impressive belly-landings the Air Force has seen in a while.
Capt. Brett DeVries was 150 feet off the ground on a strafing run when his A-10’s 30 mm gun misfired. And the aircraft’s entire canopy blew off.
The pilot with the Michigan National Guard was instantly hit with 325-knot winds that slammed into his chest and buffeted his head back and forth as he tried to control the aircraft. Also, the bottom of the aircraft and its landing gear were damaged, and he had no idea if the ejection seat still worked.
With help from his wingman, DeVries returned to base. He came in shallow and slow, landed centerline and exited the badly damaged Warthog on his own.
The captain deserves a medal for his calm under pressure — and incredible piloting skills.