NSW Riverina's aviation community have remembered a dramatic scene in the region's history where two aircraft beat the odds to safety after locking wings mid-air.
Now, 80 years on, the Brocklesby mid-air collision remains to be a shocking series of events involving two Avro Anson aircraft interlocking on a training flight from Wagga Wagga to Corowa on September 29, 1940.
What's more shocking, though, is the tale of how all four pilots made it safely to the ground.
"They were doing a reconnaissance flight as part of Number Two Service Flying Training School, and along the way, they lost sight of each other," RAAF Base Wagga Heritage Centre Officer in Charge Nigel Webster said.
"Somehow, either the aircraft above or below collided with the other top to bottom, they connected and got stuck."
While the pilot and co-pilot of the bottom aircraft, Leading Aircraftman Jack Hewson and LAC Hugh Fraser, ejected from the vessel, along with the observer from the upper aircraft, LAC Ian Sinclair, the top aircraft's pilot LAC Leonard Fuller took control.
"LAC Fuller realised he had control of both aircraft with his flight controls and the working engine of the bottom aircraft, so managed to glide the plane for 13km before finding a farmer's field near Brocklesby where he landed safely," Squadron Leader Webster said.
Despite the dramatic scene, the worst injuries recorded were a few broken ribs from one pilot.
"The young man first on scene at the time said this pilot didn't have his harness for the parachute on properly and slipped out when he was ejected, but he managed to grab onto it and hold on the whole way down, getting to the ground safely, but on impact cracked a few ribs," Mr Webster said.
That witness was then 16-year-old Jack Felstead, whose uncle lived on the farm where the aircraft landed.
He told TheCorowa Free Press at the time that the sight was hard to believe.
"I was just wandering about the paddock at the time, trying to catch a horse. I looked up and saw these two aircraft, and I really thought I was seeing things," he said.
"All I could think was, I hope whoever's flying the thing is all right."
Mr Felstead said LAC Fuller uttered the words "Thank God for that" upon emerging from the grounded aircraft, and went straight to the house on the property to call his superiors and report the safe status of all four men.
"That's all he was worried about. He was very shaken and it took him a couple of hours to settle down, but he wasn't too bad for the job he had just done," Mr Felstead told The Corowa Free Press.
In other news:
LAC Fuller was hailed a hero by civilians, but the RAAF took a different view and confined him to barracks for 14 days.
"After that, he served in Italy and received a distinguished flying medal there before coming back to Australia four years later as an instructor," Mr Webster said.
"But when he was on leave one day, he was riding his bicycle and was struck by a bus and killed."
The bottom aircraft of the collision was a write-off, but the top was able to be repaired and flown again.
Mr Webster said the historic event remains to be a learning curve for Defence personnel.
"All aircraft accidents are a learning curve for the Defence, and we continuously review all accidents or near misses so we can improve policies, procedures and training," he said.