United States Air Force 81st TFW

Republic A‑10A Thunderbolt II


22nd March 1982

RAF Bentwaters
1st Lt. James 'Jim' "Maggot" Preston

Jim recalls the events of the Monday as if they were yesterday,

"I was the pilot of 80-148, an A-10 that crashed near Herford, W Germany on 22 March 1982.
During an air-to-air engagement, both engines compressor-stalled, and would not restart.
I ejected at 500 feet above the ground, at approximately 140 knots. I was under canopy for approximately 30 seconds, landed in a tree, and had to extricate myself, since the fire department (brigade) was rural and had limited rescue equipment. I was uninjured except for a slight cut on my chin (from the mask microphone) and a compression fracture.
I was flying again 10 days later.
The name on the aircraft was 1st Lieutenant Jim Trotter, a friend of mine who has never forgiven me for crashing his airplane."