Pilot Ejects At 47,000 Feet Into A Lightning Storm

first published on June 16, 2016 by

This is the incredible, true story of the man who rode the thunder, William Rankin. The American pilot was flying an F-8 Crusader at 47,000 feet when the aircraft failed. Rankin was forced to eject going at incredible speeds into -50 degree conditions. He then descended into a massive electrical storm, and was pummeled by hail, nearly killed by lightning, and his parachute canopy repeatedly risked collapsing. It took 40 minutes of all the abuse nature could throw at him before he finally made it to the ground, surviving the extraordinary ordeal.