‘RECOVER!’ came the shout from the back seat of my Tornado GR4 combat jet but it wasn’t necessary - I had already started to yank back on the controls as hard as I could! Our 25 tonne fuel laden bomber was now a treacherous 40 degrees nose down and shuddering madly as the airflow violently separated from the wing due to my impossible demands. As we broke through the base of the cloud, my Head Up Display was suddenly filled with a sickening amount of earth and fields. This was bad. The Ground Proximity Warning System sounded. ‘WOOP, WOOP! - PULL UP, PULL UP!’ ‘7, 6, 5 - that’s 400 ft Tim!’, called my Weapons Systems Officer. We were well outside ejection seat parameters and we both knew it. How had I got us into this mess?
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