What do you do when a wing is torn off your F15?
If you are Captain Zivi Nedivi, of the Israeli airforce, you break off from your training exercise and return to base. You've only got one wing, but you make up for that by flying twice as fast.
This really happened, on May 1 1983, over the Negev desert. The F15 Eagle collided with an A4 Skyhawk. The Skyhawk was destroyed, though I understand that the pilot ejected automatically and survived. The Eagle had a wing torn off, but the pilot incredibly managed to regain control and return safely home.
There's a great video reenactment of this, and I've added a partial transcript of the pilot's own account. The video was made by the history channel. All the moving pictures are reconstructions of some kind, but there are authentic still photos of the F15 after landing, at the end of the clip.
I've made a rough transcript, with a few "um" and "er" omitted. Portions in italic are spoken by the pilot.
The story has been told in various other locations. Here is another widely cited article: Mission Impossible. Apparently, the aircraft was repaired, with a few new parts (like a wing, for example) and restored to active duty in two months.
I found this just mind blowing. Hope you enjoy it as well!