A young American pilot Heidi Anne Porch, having received permission to take off, on its single-engine light aircraft headed for New Zealand. This was Heidi’s tenth flight across the Pacific.
Heidi listened to the music, was happy with the flight. She did not regret that she began to fly, and believed in success. Rather, landing! The arrival always promised her something new, pleasant. She glanced at the instruments. The pressure fell. The pilot increased the speed, but the pressure still fell sharply. Soon the arrow of the device stopped at the last division, the engine pounded and stopped. The plane began to lose speed, the altitude began to fall sharply.
Heidi realized that the flight was over. She sent out a distress signal. The girl hoped that her signals would be heard in the Hawaiian Islands. On the air it sounded: “I’m alone here, I crashed, fall into the ocean.”
Hitting the water, the plane turned over, the cabin was under water. Waking up, Heidi realized that if she did not get out of the cab, she would drown with the plane. She took out an inflatable raft, unfastened the belt, inhaled the last time the air and let in the water. Pushing away from the side, she emerged to the surface. In my mind I heard: “I’m alive!” From the sun and fresh air dizzy… Or maybe the dizziness was from weakness and excitement? ..
From the last forces Heidi swam to the dam and, clinging to his orange side, got out
Operators in the Hawaiian Islands have received distress signals. The coast guard aircraft was raised into the air. He was looking for traces of the plane crash, but all was unsuccessful. In addition, the pilots realized that if they see the pilot in the ocean, they will not be able to pick it up anyway. In the area of the fall of the aircraft, it is necessary to bring the ship: sailors could save the man in the ocean. And then the pilots began to look for a ship nearby.
The Russian transport vessel “Taiga” followed the course to Vladivostok. The captain’s bridge was the 50-year-old captain IA Mochalov. He smoked a pipe and thought: “The best time in any flight is to return home.” But these thoughts were interrupted by the report from the watch: “A four-engined aircraft with US Coast Guard identification marks is approaching the refrigerator”. At the same moment, Mochalov saw that the plane was coming from the port side. The roar of engines swept over the deck. Turning over the ship, the plane came to the right and again swept over the masts.
– Was there a connection? asked the captain.
“No,” answered the radio operator. “No connection.”
The captain ascended to the upper, open bridge. It seemed to him: the plane was calling somewhere. He left twice in the same direction. But this is the only information. But the radio was silent.
The Americans flew away. Probably decided: they understood. But for the captain everything was a mystery. How to be?
Mochalov turned the ship and pointed to the side where the plane pointed. The captain stood on the bridge, peering into the distance. But in the binoculars there was a void: around the clear ocean. Lowering the binoculars, he asked: what is on the locator? Finally the captain’s senior assistant said: the locator had spotted the plane, circling over the same place.
“Then there,” said the captain. “Full speed ahead!”
The captain noticed a bright glowing strip on the water. But it was not a fire. This plane, seeing the ship, released into the sea a lot of orange rockets. It was a signal: “The deceiver needs your help.” Now the sky was shining.
– Man overboard! – commanded the captain. – Turn on the searchlight!
At the same time, three searchlights were lit. Those who were to work on the waves, put on life jackets, launched a lifeboat. They all went up to the deck. A multi-ton ship lay in a drift. The ocean thundered: a storm was rising. The ship maneuvered to protect the boat from the waves.
The pilots saw that a boat was heading for the disaster site. The plane turned around and walked away, and after half a minute appeared, catching up with the boat. He raced over the very waves. Not flying a hundred meters to the boat, the pilot turned on a powerful searchlight. A long white beam pointed the boat to the exact path to Heidi’s raft.
On the surface of the ocean, surrounded by colored lights of floating rockets, a tiny raft swayed.
“A man on a rubber raft,” rescuers said. And a little later: – On the raft girl.
They came closer, close. They considered: they are not a child, but a girl. Heidi rushed to meet her. They picked her up and dragged her into the boat. Water poured from her streams. My legs gave way. She laughed and cried.
On the ship Heidi met the doctor Natasha Popova, she placed the victim in an isolation ward. The joy of salvation works wonders: Heidi smiled, pulled wet clothes herself, tried to move without help. She passed the exam in a deserted ocean.