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DC-3 Crash Survival - A Miracle!

The skin on the right side of the aircraft's cockpit was torn lose and Holder later reported looking outside and seeing flames.

"Ron couldn't get free, his seat belt was stuck, so Buddy reached over and began helping him as the cockpit began to fill with smoke.

"Ron later told me that he looked outside and realized it was blazing. He thought he would be burned alive."

Davis said he also saw the fire coming down over his head when he began to rise from the floor behind the two pilots.

When Roberts finally freed Holder, the two men rose to find an exit.

"Ron thought they'd turn around and find me dead and was surprised to see me still alive. He'd been cut up pretty good and his face was covered with blood.

"I guess we were both kind of surprised by what we saw and paused to look at one another.
Buddy was the captain and he took charge yelling,Fire! Get out!

We started running down the cabin trying to find an escape. I saw the cargo door was twisted and that there was not way to open it but behind it there was a smaller door."

Davis saw the smaller door standing wide open "as if someone had raised it and was holding it open for us."

"When we got to the door we didn't have to slow down and just ran through it. Ron was behind me and Buddy was right behind him.

"Buddy later said the fire was chasing us down the cabin as we ran. In fact, it singed the back of Buddy's hair," Davis said.

The three men ran as fast as they could away from the burning DC-3, falling in to a nearby ditch.

"We all knew it would explode. It had just been filled with 800 gallons of gasoline, plus it had quite a bit of oil and hydraulic fluid."

Later, Davis learned from an aircraft mechanic that having a full gasoline tanks may have helped save their lives. He noted that had the tanks been partially empty, they also would have contained fuel vapor which probably would have exploded on impact.

"Because the tanks were full, there was no vapor to immediately ignite and that probably gave us the few seconds we needed to get clear," he said.

"Everything about that day was a miracle. Had we been forced to stop and open an emergency door to get out, we probably would not have escaped the flames and almost certainly would have been caught in the explosion.

"Had we flown a while longer before the crash, the gasoline vapor that would have been in the fuel tanks probably would have exploded on impact and we wouldn't have been able to even try to escape," Davis said.

"The Lord was looking out for us. There is no other explanation," he added. (END)

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