Captain Heidi “ChuckEm” Heming continued to let down to FL 270 in her heavily damaged fighter. Her intent was to rendezvous with the tanker and get back to the carrier. Her mind was accelerating to deal with the priorities that her fighter, Nighthawk 201, seemed to be dictating….she was all about right now PMP certification . Heidi’s concerns kept mounting as each new warning light come on in the cockpit.
The shot up fighter was still manageable but concern about making it back to the carrier overrode caution about placing the tanker in jeopardy with the lack of control. Major Patty “Stomper” Wayne heard Heidi’s Mayday and joined on her wing. She noticed Heidi’s shattered windscreen and then pressed her com button.
Heidi’s damaged radio was as irregular as her slurred speech. Patty offered encouragement as she passed under Nighthawk 201 to check for damage. Her first observation was that Heidi’s aircraft was a mess with multiple.
leaks and significant battle damage to the aft control surfaces of the fighter. What she couldn’t believe was the round that came right through the cockpit, grazing Heidi’s face and taking out the part of the radio consul.