Cessna Pilot Helps In Tornado Pilots' Rescue
Flight instructor Syd Utting was 45 minutes into a training flight in Scotland with former Navy pilot Keith Thomson on board last Friday afternoon, when air traffic controllers asked for his help. Two Royal Air Force pilots based nearby had ejected from an F3 Tornado at about 10,000 feet, about 10 miles offshore, before the jet fell into the cold North Sea. Utting headed for the area and spotted an oil slick and a dinghy, then saw a red flare shoot up from the waves. Utting circled above the stranded pilots for over an hour in the dark, according to The Sunday Mail. "It was reassuring for them to know their rescuers wouldn't have to waste even more time searching for them," Utting said. Rescuers reached the pilots, who were taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries. Ejection seats on the Tornado turn into inflatable dinghies when the seat hits the water. The Tornado is a two-seat supersonic fighter jet with swing wings, in use by the RAF since 1986. The pilots had just taken off on a training flight on Friday when the accident occurred.