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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by SayonaraJupiter
You don't have to heal completely to fly a plane again. You just have to heal enough to be able to move the controls around, and not be distracted by the pain. A B-23 could carry a crew of six, so if he chose he would have a copilot with him, and it wasn't like he was going to be screaming around the sky like a fighter pulling Gs. The B-23 was a light/medium bomber, and while it was maneuverable it wasn't like the XF-11, which was similar in design to the P-38 Lightning fighter.
As for this crash, it was Hughes' fault that it happened, and he was lucky it didn't kill him. Instead of feathering the rear prop like he should have, he chose to make an emergency landing, and lost it at low altitude. The XF-11 ailerons were ineffective at low speeds, and the low speed handling was found to be horrible.
"At Good Samaritan Hospital, doctors grimly determined the extent of his injuries. His chest was crushed. He suffered fractures of seven ribs on the left side, two on the right, a fracture of the left clavicle, a possible fracture of the nose, a large laceration of the scalp, extensive second- and third-degree burns on the left hand, a second-degree burn on the lower part of the left chest, a second-degree burn on the left buttock, cuts, bruises, and abrasions on his arms and legs, and many small cuts on his face. His left lung had collapsed and his right was also injured. His heart had been pushed to one side of his chest cavity. He was in severe shock. No one in the emergency room thought he would live through the night."
" As they inserted a tube in his crushed chest to drain fluid accumulating in the lungs, the doctors told Hughes, who had remained conscious throughout his ordeal, that he might not live. "
"To relieve the pain and make bearable what all of them were certain would be his last few hours, Mason gave him injections of morphine."
"He (Hughes) was convinced, he told a friend later, that his life was saved because he drank great quantities of fresh orange juice daily. "
"On August 12, he was released from the Hospital." 37 days in hospital.
"During his convalescence, Hughes, who had a low tolerance for pain -- owing in part, perhaps, to his exaggerated fear of sickness -- demanded increasingly larger doses of morphine, and Dr. Mason unquestioningly supplied it. But as time went by, he prescribed codeine, a weaker narcotic, as a substitute. It was the beginning of a drug addiction that would become Hughes' best-kept secret in a life that overflowed with secrets."
"As he grew stronger, Hughes worried that the accident might have made him apprehensive about flying. He need not have. On September 9 (1946), photographers snapped pictures of Hughes, sporting a mustache to cover scars on his upper lip, at the controls of his converted B-23 bomber before ascending on his first flight since the crash. For the next few months, to dispel any notion of fear, he flew everywhere -- to New York, Kansas City, Dayton, and Mexico, for a much-needed vacation with Cary Grant."
" Hughes not only had recovered, but had also miraculously suffered no permanent disability. Two fingers on his left hand-- the hand that had been burned so badly -- did not move as freely as before.. Other than that, he complained of no aches, pains, or discomfort. To the world it seemed that Howard Hughes had once again been very lucky."
Source Bartlett & Steel "Empire: The Life, Legend and Madness of Howard Hughes."
Since 1947, the year of the famous Roswell crash, there have been rumors that the US government has stored debris and artifacts from crash flying saucers, and even bodies of the small, alien crew members of the downed space ships. Much of the evidence of these crash retrievals leads us to Dayton, Ohio, and Wright-Patterson's Hangar-18. Source ufos.about.com...