Many of you know that Star Trek was created by a man named Gene Roddenberry. He was a great man while he lived, not only creating a show we are still geeking out over today; but he also worked for the Los Angeles Police Department and was a veteran of WWII. However, one of his best stories was while working as a pilot for Pan Am.
It was June of 1947
Roddenberry was working as a pilot on a flight from Karachi, India to Instanbul. It was a normal flight for the first couple of hours, when something suddenly happened five hours in.
One of the plane's two engines stopped working, which eventually caused the second engine to overheat and it started a fire. The cabin filled with panic from seeing the fire. While the first pilot attempted to land the plane, Roddenberry got up from the cockpit and into the main cabin. He sat next to a young woman who was riding alone and he comforted her in her panic.
However, it did not end well
The burning engine fell out of the plane, revealing the fuel lines and fire spread. The plane crash landed in the deserts of Syria. Roddenberry, with two broken ribs, survived the crash but rather than watching the plane burn, he did something different. He went back into the plane and pulled out survivors.
He pulled out numerous passengers, but he had to stop once the wind changed and fire engulfed the plane. The survivors then were lead by Roddenberry in finding help. After splitting into two teams, Roddenberry's team trekked for four miles (still with broken ribs) to a nearby village and called for help. They were then given assistance by the Syrian Military and he was allowed back into the US after two weeks.
What effect did this have on Roddenberry?
After the Crash, Roddenberry quit being a pilot. He decided to have children with his wife and to pursue his dream of writing for television. He worked for the LAPD for a while, until his writing took off. He first wrote a show called The Lieutenant. However, it was soon usurped in popularity in 1964 with the release of Star Trek. Without the crash, Roddenberry would not have become a screenwriter as soon as he did and he would not have created Star Trek. Good on you, Gene. Good on you.