“On December 10, 1963, while testing an NF-104A rocket-augmented aerospace trainer, he narrowly escaped death when his aircraft went out of control at 108,700 feet (nearly 21 miles up) and crashed. He parachuted to safety at 8,500 feet after vainly battling to gain control of the powerless, rapidly falling craft. In this incident he became the first pilot to make an emergency ejection in the full pressure suit needed for high altitude flights.” (from the biography of General Chuck Yeager)
The movie, The Right Stuff, depicts the crash in all its terror. In reality, General Yeager was talking with his chase plane pilot and the ground crew about what was happening as a test pilot does so they could take their notes and gather data.
In an interview, listen to Chuck Yeager describe the incident depicted in the film clip above. He’s all business describing the way things were supposed to work, what he suspects went wrong, and how he calmly thought through what he needed to do to survive.
I know it’s been said before but this guy has nerves of steel.