Serving with the 71st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron based at Malmstrom Air Force Base adjacent to Great Falls, Montana, a routine training flight, conducting aerial combat maneuvers, on February 2, 1970 ended when the aircraft entered a flat spin. The pilot, Gary Foust, attempted to recover, including the desperation move of deploying the aircraft’s drag chute; but recovery proved to be impossible, and Foust fired his ejection seat and escaped the stricken aircraft at an altitude of 15,000 feet (4,600 m). The reduction in weight and change in center of gravity caused by the removal of Foust and the ejection seat caused the aircraft, trimmed for takeoff and with the throttle at idle, to successfully recover itself from the spin. Continue reading for more interesting and random facts that might surprise you.

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