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Yes, a Human Really Flew Outside a DC-8 As a Stunt

The Human Fly Proved it was possible and painful.


Swanky music, bell bottoms, and crazy human tricks defined the 70’s.

In 1976, Clay Lacy, a famous businessman and movie pilot, was requested to pilot one of the weirdest stunts in the history of aviation. It was called The Human Fly.

Rick Rojatt, a costumed Canadian stunt actor, made the request. For promotional reasons, Rick wanted to stand on top of a DC-8 wearing a fly costume, with the words “The Human Fly” painted along the side of the jet. He wanted the plane flown over the Mojave Desert and over Texas.

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Rick Rojatt was dressed in a fly costume when he spoke to reporters about being ready to stand on the wing of a flying lear jet aircraft.

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That’s easy for Clay Lacy to say. Clay Lacy piloted the plane. Rick Rojatt was the one who performed the stunt, and nearly got himself killed when it suddenly started raining. Rain hits pretty hard when you are traveling at great speeds. Fortunately, the pilot was able to see Rojatt on the screen via camera. When Rojatt passed out and his arms fell to his sides, Clay Lacy landed the plane. Rojatt was helped down with a cherry picker and stuffed into an ambulance, from where he emerged a short while later, limping from where the rain had hit him in the legs.  At over 250mph, the rain became like rocks.  Said Rojatt, “The rain was like bullets.”  After months of recovery, Rojatt would heal but there hasn’t been an externally attached DC-8 passenger since (or on any airliner for that matter).

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