On a wing and a Prayer e o nome do livro onde e relatada a experiencia dessa queda livre,ao efetuar um Loop quando os pilotos não usavam para-quedas,para não serem chamados de covardes e nem eram incentivados pelo Alto Comando da Royal Air Force.
No auge dos confrontos aereos a expectativa de vida chegou a ser de 11 hs de voo em combate. O rompimento de um cinto de segurança ja gasto pelo tempo,apesar de não ter passado de um susto sem maiores consequencias com os 2 pilotos retornando a salvo,tambem levou o Aeroclube de Ribeirão Preto a doar um velho Fairchild Para-Sol ao Museu Aeroespacial do Rio de Janeiro.
One summer’s afternoon in 1917, Grahame Donald attempted a new manoeuvre in his Sopwith Camel. He flew the machine up and over, and as he reached the top of his loop, hanging upside down, 6,000ft above the ground, his safety belt snapped and he fell out. He was not wearing a parachute; they were not issued to British pilots in the belief that their availability would impair fighting spirit.
Hurtling to earth, with nothing to break his fall, Donald’s death was seconds away – but it didn’t come. In an interview given 55 years later, he explained: “The first 2,000ft passed very quickly and looked damnably ‘. As I fell, I began to hear my faithful little Camel somewhere nearby. Suddenly I fell back on to her.”
The Camel had continued its loop downwards, and Donald landed on its top wing. He grabbed it with both hands, hooked one foot into the cockpit, wrestled himself back in, struggled to take control, and executed “an unusually good landing”.