World Teen - Main Article
 
Signup Teachers & Parents
Phone Call Ensures Happy Landing
News Bytes 07/29/2021 6 Comments

Last week, Ian Simpson was standing outside the fence of a Royal Air Force base in eastern England, snapping pictures of fighter aircraft taking off. He noticed a shower of sparks flying from the back of an F-15E Strike Eagle plane flown by U.S. Air Force Major Grant Thompson.

Simpson, who used to work in the aviation industry, recognized that there was an issue with the plane. He and a group of other aviation enthusiasts listening to flight control traffic quickly realized that the pilot didn’t appear to know there was a problem with the aircraft. He thought swiftly and did the only thing he knew to do—google the Lakenheath air force base’s phone number. He persuaded a switchboard operator to put him through to the flight operations at the base.

Simpson told the base that he had “lots of photographs of sparks coming out the back [of the plane].” The base relayed the message to pilot Thompson. While still in flight, Thompson’s wingman confirmed that there was damage to one of the engines, the base said. The pilot returned to base, “just to be safe.”

Simpson said he was motivated by the death of another young American pilot whose plane crashed into the North Sea on June 15, 2020.

“I thought someone should call,” he said. “I didn't want anything like that to happen to another family.”

Major Grant Thompson thanked Simpson by giving him a cap and insignia. Thompson even ripped the flight patch from his shoulder and gave it to Simpson.

The base noted Simpson’s actions in a Facebook post that won widespread attention, particularly from Americans grateful for his assistance.

“For me, the most humbling thing has been the families of servicemen who thanked me for doing what I did,” Simpson says. “I wasn’t expecting to get so much thanks.”

Ian Simpson demonstrated genuine care for others through his actions. He was spurred to prevent the loss of a life and hurt to other families. God calls us to care for and serve others both inside and outside of our communities. But He also calls us to do so with humility and a servant’s heart—seeking no additional recognition from others.

In what ways can you serve those around you with Christ-like kindness and humility today?  

(U.S. Air Force Major Grant Thompson rips the flight patch from his shoulder to give to Ian Simpson, left, outside RAF Lakenheath on July 20, 2021. Capt Marie Ortiz/RAF Lakenheath via AP)

Leave a comment
  • Be respectful of everyone, including other readers as well as individuals in the news stories. Disagree politely.
  • Do not post links to websites outside of WORLDteen.
  • Keep personal information such as full name, age, location, and contact information private.
  • Read your comment before posting to be sure you have typed what you wish to say in public.
Sorry you are not allowed to publish comments. If this is the first time you are seeing this message please log out and back in. If you continue to see this message and believe this to be in error please reach out to member services.

Most recent comments

1st comment

Wow, ok… interesting! Well done Ian Simpson!

2nd Comment

I am glad he did the right thing. and wasn't hesitant about it.

3rd Comment

I agree, it could have been bad!

This is JENNA

That so great that he did that. A lot of people nowadays would not have either seen, cared, or just would have just assumed the best.

Yay!

I am glad he did the right thing and possibly saved a life. :)

:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Good job Ian Simpson! This is inspiring!

Check out one of the interesting topics below
Explain IT!

Explain-IT trains you to understand the how’s and why’s of man-made inventions and ideas.

Learn More
Pop Smart

Pop! SMART provides tools that equip teenagers with the kinds of insights they need to wisely navigate today’s popular culture in a way that’s fun and engaging.

Learn More
Pie in the Sky

Everyone daydreams, and as it should be. Good dreams aside, our culture is a natural enemy of serenity and hope. God has equipped you for great things.

Learn More
People Mover

True stories are incredibly powerful. They bring meaning to our lives—communicating the truths we can’t afford to live without.

Learn More
Mud Room

Mud Room helps you relate to the news by exploring the details behind the stories in the headlines that relate to earth sciences.

Learn More
Globe Trek

Globe Trek will take you from the living room sofa to the mountains of Uzbekistan and from the screen of their smart phone to a Chilean plantation.

Learn More
Ka Ching!

ka-Ching! takes a look at important principles of money and economics through relatable examples from everyday life.

Learn More
Law 'N Order

Law ‘N Order captures your imagination through civics, focusing on the idea that everyone can make a difference in life.

Learn More

User login