Airplane Pilot Almost Literally Loses His Head In Runway Close-Call

Don't worry, he's OK!

It doesn’t get much closer than this.

Footage recorded at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada, shows the absolutely terrifying moment when a pilot nearly lost his head on the pavement.

Thom Richard, who pilots the race plane “Hot Stuff,” was dealing with engine trouble before a race on Sunday. He opened his canopy and signaled that he was excusing himself, but not all the competitors got the message.

Another aircraft came zipping in, just a few hairs above Richard’s head.

“The impact spun me around nearly 180º, like a teacup ride at warp eight,” Richard wrote on YouTube. “... Another four feet to the left and I would have been minced meat.”

Luckily, both pilots were able to walk it off.

Scary stuff, but Richard says he’ll be back in the cockpit soon enough.

“I choose to cross the street because the risk of crossing the street is worth the reward of getting to the other side,” Richard said. “Same thing with air racing. I’ll be back.”