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Taking Off with SureFire

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The military trained me to fly fighter jets. After three combat tours I find myself back in civilian life flying as a commercial airline pilot. While it’s not as exciting to fly as military aircraft, I am responsible for a multi-million-dollar piece of equipment and the lives of over 100 passengers. During a pre-flight inspection, using my 500-lumen SureFire Fury, I found something. While inspecting the turbines, I found a raccoon deep inside the engine, something I never would’ve seen with a lesser light because the day was bright and sunny. It takes a really bright light for a proper inspection when the sun is beating down on the aircraft. If I’d have missed that raccoon, the engine would have been destroyed during the start-up procedure. I learned overseas, in combat, just how important a quality flashlight is. That day, my SureFire Fury helped me to prevent expensive engine damage—and possibly prevented a ground-crew worker from serious injury or death from the turbine ripping apart. Having a good flashlight truly is important!

Scott M.
East Syracuse, NY

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Flying a small Cessna 150 through southern Utah is much like getting all cozy in a little Radio Flyer with wings; there isn't much room to stretch your legs, and there certainly isn't an in-flight beverage service. On this trip, I was out and about for a little bit of joyriding and sightseeing. What I didn't expect was to race a thunderstorm back home. I knew the forecast had called for some unpleasant weather later in the evening, but I didn't expect a lightning show with me up at 10,000 feet. Needless to say, I cut things short and made a bee-line back home. I could see the storm was outpacing me, as most things do in a small Cessna, and it was all I could do to keep from having the turbulence throw me around like an old rag doll. That's when things got exciting!

The electrical system decided to choose that moment to go on the fritz. The cockpit and instrument lights are on a single fuse, and this fuse decided to give in then and there. Changing a fuse during normal conditions isn't too much of a challenge, but when you're racing a thunderstorm home, it isn't what you want to find yourself doing. I always carry my Surefire E2D LED Defender® with me when flying, as this light is perfect for doing pre-flight checks. I knew exactly where it was, and I went straight for it. The low-output setting was everything I needed and not a lumen too much. Without that light, I wouldn't have been able to keep track of my instruments, and with too much light, I would have blinded myself in the small cockpit.

Needless to say, I made a makeshift fixture for it between my teeth and used it to get home safely. Prior to that moment, my E2D LED Defender was always just an accessory; after my storm-fleeing flight, it became a necessity and a safety net.

Jay W.
Edmunds, WA

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I'm a general aviation pilot. Recently, I was celebrating getting my commercial pilot's certificate by flying to Santa Barbara for dinner with two pilot friends of mine. Even though I wasn't the pilot on this flight, I still put my SureFire G2® LED [superseded by the G2X Tactical] and my A2 Aviator® [superseded by the A2 LED Aviator] into my flight bag. After we landed on the runway, we discovered that our landing light and taxi light wouldn't turn on. It was a dark night, and the moon was covered, so the visibility on the ground bad. Plus, some of the taxi lights were out of service as well. A wrong turn at a busy airport like Santa Barbra could cause a major disaster. So, while my friends were wondering what to do, I simply pulled my G2 LED from my bag and stuck it out the cockpit. When I pushed the button, no kidding, the taxi way was totally lighted. In fact, this little flashlight worked better than the original lights on the 1980 Piper. Using only the G2 LED, we taxied to park in one piece. There are lots of things I learned when I took my flight training, but there's one thing I've learned on my own: Never take off without my SureFire.

Alec W.
Taipei, Taiwan

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