In the Arms of God


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Tom Smoak was a pilot that worked with my dad in Colombia, and so I have heard his first person testimony. Tom is writing/written? a book which is due out soon according to his son. I know from Tom's testimony that he briefly regained consciousness as he was plummeting earthward, and on the ground a nurse witnessed the explosion and could see Tom falling with his parachute deployed, but merely as a burning streamer and she began to pray......
Here is an excerpt that his son shared from "In the Arms of God"

"I jerked the throttles back to idle to ease the stress on the plane's frame but it was too late. The wings broke from the fuselage and the plane exploded, blasting me into unconsciousness.

My eyelids felt like lead as they slowly opened. There was only fire. I was burning alive in a furnace of flames. Indescribable, excruciating pain as first my flight suit melted around my knees and elbows and then my flesh began to melt. The fire raged around me and on me and in me as I was engulfed in a crucible of burning jet fuel. My face and hands were on fire. My mouth tasted like metal, like death. I prayed. I screamed with everything in me a prayer for God to take my life.

"Kill me God! God, please kill me quickly!"
The plane had broken in two and the cockpit was a whirling ball of fire, like a meteor racing toward the city below. I tried to eject but nothing happened. I felt my vision and my mind fading into death. When the ejection seat did not fire, for some reason I undid my seat belt and as my flesh burned I succumbed to the flames, passing into what I was sure were my final seconds on earth. While I was unconscious Herb raised the canopy, which immediately blew off, and he later ejected but his chute didn't open. The flames had melted his parachute into a grotesque and disfigured ball of solid nylon and he was killed when he hit the ground thousands of feet below. Colonel Watson and our crew chief never made it out of the plane and died in the flames..."


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He came down in the lady's front yard, where his chute snagged in the tall trees on either side of her driveway. The branches must have yielded enough to sustain a survivable deceleration, although he was still badly burnt.


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That sounds like quite a book, I will have to pick up a copy. Perhaps update us when it’s available?

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