When Captain Chris R. Stricklin got up the morning of September 14, 2003, ejecting from his airplane was the furthest thing from his mind. The sky over Mountain Home Air Force Base in western Idaho was royal blue, without even a wisp of a cloud—a perfect day for an airshow. His aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon sat fueled, polished, and ready to fly. He was a member of the elite United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron—the Thunderbirds—and he was about to give the gathering crowd a show they would never forget.
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