Good photos of a pair of F-18 Hornets at Top Gun which had a mid-air collision and then the pilots "John Wayne-ed" them back to base.
Hook down - hydraulics gone - incredible!! This truly is a miracle; two heavily damaged aircraft.
The pilots would have been justified in "punching out" but instead, they chose to bring the jets home.
This endangered their lives but saved the taxpayers about 80 million dollars. What is especially intriguing is in picture 3, notice the radome, radar and all of the avionics equipment, everything in front is gone.
This created several problems for the pilot:
aerodynamics, eventual loss of hydraulics due to loss of fluid, navigation, and probably the most amazing, as the pieces fell away, some debris had to be ingested by the engines ....and yet he still was able to bring it home!
The story behind them is: Two F/A-18 Hornets from "Top Gun" were dog fighting and made a head on pass, just a bit too close.
One got home with part of the left wing and left vertical fin and rudder missing, while the other jet is missing everything forward of the cockpit pressure bulkhead and is a flying "convertible" because the canopy is shattered too.