Friday, August 2, 2013

Douglas Bader - An Inspiring Pilot

I came to know about Douglas Bader when I was a kid, strolling around aviation books. He became an instant deep inspiration the moment I read his story. I photocopied that particular page and kept it in my school textbook all year. Although I lost the piece of paper, the inspiring story still glow deep inside my brain.

Douglas Bader was a fighter pilot, a Royal Air Force Fighter Ace. He is credited with shooting down 20 aircraft in a single air-to-air combat. There were also series of formation attacks with more than 10 victories. He was a War Hero who had incredulous knowledge in Aerial Combat Maneuvering a.k.a. Dogfight. But he was known as a legend for another reason.

In 1923, when Bader was in school, he happened to see an World War I Fighter Aircraft, Avro 504. The sight of biplane caused him to take an interest in aviation. At that time it was highly competitive to enter Air Force let alone fly a fighter plane. He got discouragement from everyone and was told not to pursue this because he was not good in his studies. But Douglas Bader was firm to become a pilot and decided to do whatever it takes.

Since he was good in Sports, he was able to get in the Royal Air Force Rugby team. He still needed the academic excellence in maths and science. His Warden helped him in his studies and through hard work he aced all his exams. In 1928, he did his first solo.

His aggressive nature helped him improve naturally in his dogfights and air shows. In 1931, when attempting a low-flying aerobatics, his plane fatally crashed. Bader was saved from the crash but lost his both legs forever.

All he ever wanted was to fly planes. Now handicapped, he was told to resign from the Air Force. He was constantly given pain killers for months to decrease the pain. Everyone around him had nothing but sympathy to this daredevil.

I believe that there is always a choice for every-man. I believe it's the choice that make a man who he is.

Douglas Bader chose to be a pilot no matter what. He rekindled his passion for flights. He got artificial legs. He learned to walk slowly, once he mastered it he started to run. His doctors said it was dangerous for him to do these, but whatsoever, he did. 

Through his sheer perseverance he learned to drive, run, play and even dance. His doctors were astounded with his achievements. Finally he was proven medically fit to fly again. He flew an Avro 504 amazingly. By 1937, he was back to active services and played an important role in the war. He led a life that deserves great respect and admiration.

Douglas Bader portray that with a definite goal, persistence and faith in self; impossible is nothing but word.

Live Passionate Guys.

Also your comments and suggestions are very much appreciated.
- Chan


  1. "It's the choice tht makes a man who he is"..good one...pretty gud write up..never knew about this hero..thanks chan :)

    1. My Pleasure Prasobh...Glad that you find the article entertaining. Stick on...more to come :)

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