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Pilot Saves Life By Jumping From Speeding (And Perfectly Good) Plane On Takeoff

He had a second to make the call and lived to tell the tale. Here’s what happened.

So you’re taking off…well, technically, conducting a high-speed taxi test…and there’s nothing wrong with the plane, but you realize that unless you jump out of it right now, you’re dead. Could you do it? Would you do it in time? Okay, fair enough, what’s the nature of the threat? It’s scary.

The pilot, Cliff Killeen (seen at center in this photo), was high speed-taxiing his Yak when, suddenly, he looked down and saw, by his throttle hand, a brown snake taking a bead on him. Now, you’re thinking, how venomous could an Australian brown snake be? In short, one bite and it’s game over. It is, according to online sources, the second most deadly snake in the world. So jumping from a speeding Yak on a simulated takeoff roll has got to have at least a little better odds than that, right? Killeen wasted no time, he peeled back the canopy, unhooked his harness and bailed.

He was okay. The plane, as you can see the photo courtesy of Cliff’s Facebook page, wasn’t. But was the snake okay? We hope not! There, we said it.

Great job, Cliff! And good luck with the next project!


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