Shane Osborn on War & Peace



We let Syria & Iran cross the red line

Osborn say the US and Europe need to cooperate on economic sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin. "You need to have diplomacy, but at the same time he needs to take you serious and right now, Putin doesn't take us serious," Osborn says. "Because the Syrians don't take us serious when we let them cross the red line. The Iranians don't take us serious with this horrible agreement that we did that doesn't do anything to curtail their uranium enrichment over there and their quest to get a bomb. So, why would Putin take us serious now?"
Source: Nebraska Radio Network on 2014 Nebraska Senate race , Mar 7, 2014

Mid-air collision with Chinese fighter over South China Sea

The Chinese pilot was gesturing at us with his open gloved hand as if trying to wave us away. I was gripped by dread. How could he try to fly his plane with one hand in these conditions? The only way the pilot could control the Finback effectively was with one hand on the throttles, the other on the stick--and he wasn't doing much of a job of it, because his nose was chopping up and down. There was nothing I could do. It would be too dangerous to try to maneuver with him flying so unstably just beneath our wingtip.

The Chinese pilot dropped away again. But the Finback approached again from our left rear; he pitched up and tried to turn away to stop his rate of closure. But it was too late. The fighter's long fuselage rose toward the chopping propeller blades. The unimaginable had happened. The pilot had just smashed his plane into ours.

I realized that the propeller of my number one engine had cut the Finback in two. The front half of the Finback smashed directly into our nose.

Source: Born To Fly by Shane Osborn,p.124-6 , Nov 13, 2001

Kept as POW by Chinese after crash-landing at Hainan

[After a mid-air collision over the South China Sea, and crash-landing in China], suddenly, the plane rolled to a stop. Our ordeal had lasted about 33 minutes. It was the longest half hour I had ever spent in my life. I just can't believe we're alive, I thought again.

Then another, colder thought struck me. We're alive, but we're also in Communist China. I didn't consider ourselves to be POWs yet. The collision with the Finback had been an accident caused by poor airmanship and aggressive flying, not an act of war. At this stage, I could not imagine that the Chinese would find a reason to keep us there very long. I would soon find out how wrong I was.

Later that evening, I tried in vain to sleep. Nightmare images of the collision kept popping into my head. Reliving the traumatic 33 minutes, I knew there was nothing I could or would have done differently.

Source: Born To Fly by Shane Osborn,p.155-61 , Nov 13, 2001

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