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Taliban bullet ricochets inside RAF pilot's helmet

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Flight Lieutenant Fortune, aged 28, is part of 1310 Flight, Royal Air Force Odiham, which was detached to Afghanistan in January 2010. The …

Flight Lieutenant Fortune, aged 28, is part of 1310 Flight, Royal Air Force Odiham, which was detached to Afghanistan in January 2010.

The incident occurred when he and his crew from C Flight, 27 Squadron, had been called out on an Immediate Response Team mission to pick up casualties injured during a battle in southern Nad ‘Ali.

The Chinook landed and picked up seven injured Afghan and American soldiers but came under heavy and sustained fire during which Flight Lieutenant Fortune was hit in the head as a round smashed through the windscreen hitting his helmet and causing facial injuries.

The round hit the night-vision goggle rail on the front of his helmet, then passed through the helmet skin and out through the top.

Speaking of the incident, Flight Lieutenant Fortune said:

I heard a small burst of gunfire and my head rocked back. When I opened my eyes I could see pieces of broken helmet visor and splattered blood, which confused me at first.

It was a strange feeling followed by elation as I knew I’d been hit and survived - as a crew we are all quite proud of what we achieved.

Despite the aircraft sustaining significant damage as well, all casualties were evacuated back to the hospital at Camp Bastion.

Flight Lieutenant Fortune required 12 stitches in his head.