Pilot Thom Richard posted a YouTube video (below) on Sept. 20 of a plane colliding with his plane at the Reno Air Races in Nevada on Sept. 18.
So far, the terrifying cockpit video has over 1 million views.
RT.com reports that Richard realized that his engine sounded wrong only seconds before take off, so he shut off his engine, popped his cockpit cover up and signaled with his hand to the flagman not to start the race.
Richard noted on his YouTube page:
I saw the flagman run out on to the runway waving his hands over his head as if something was wrong. The aircraft to my right started rolling and a few seconds later the number six and eight aircraft flew by me on either side. All I could do at that point was hope the number seven (center) aircraft would clear me on the centerline to my right.
That was the moment when the number seven plane crashed into Richard's plane.
Richard wrote that the "impact was violent and loud," and noted: "His left leading edge shaved off the top several inches from my vertical and skimmed the turtle-deck without touching until it impacted my right hand holding up the canopy, at well over sixty miles an hour."
Richard recalled that the other plane's landing gear and propeller hit his plane and "spun me around nearly 180º, like a teacup ride at warp eight. The other aircraft came to rest several hundred feet in front of me with a folded gear, damaged wing and sheared propeller facing the other way as well. That pilot received no injuries."
A flagman quickly ran over to check on Richard, and assisted him out of his plane, nicknamed Hot Stuff. The flagman told Richard that his signal was seen and the "red flag was up."
Richard wrote that the paramedics tended to his wounds, but that Hot Stuff had "severe damage," and it will "be several months before we figure out what to do with her."
The lucky pilot noted that if the other plane had come in another "four feet to the left and I would have been minced meat," and that he escaped with a "busted up hand."
Richard concluded that he used up another one of his nine lives, but would be back racing again.