Flying a Damaged Fighter Plane While Standing on the Wing
World War I was a magical time when humans enjoyed their newfound miracle of flight by using it to try to clumsily murder each other. Dogfighting would never again be this insane -- planes were rickety things made of fabric and wood, and killing the enemy usually meant flying so close to his contraption that you could just as easily stab him with a sword. So you had to be a particular kind of crazy to even attempt that job, and Kiwi WWI fighter ace Keith Logan "Grid" Caldwell should probably be their patron saint, based on this one story alone.
via 74 Squadron
"You know what you could use, Death? A nice back rub."
Caldwell was part of the famed No. 60 Squadron of the British Royal Flying Corps (which later became the Royal Air Force). He became such an expert pilot that he was promoted and given his own squadron, No. 74 Tiger Squadron. Even though he was a commander, he still insisted that he fly to the front lines, because he knew it was his destiny to soar through the air and brazenly dare Death to take him.
During one mission, Caldwell managed to crash his plane into another in mid-air (it was destined to happen, really). This damaged his aircraft's wing bad enough that it went into a death spiral, meaning Caldwell was doomed to a dizzy plummet into the ground followed by a very fiery death. But Caldwell, being insane, took a moment to determine that he just needed to change the center of gravity -- that is, add some weight to the side with the damaged wing, to balance things out. So, while the plane was still spinning, he somehow climbed out onto the motherfucking wing, reaching into the cockpit and piloting the aircraft from there. It looked something like this:
via Cambridge Air Force
"Who am I kidding, I damaged the plane just so I could try this."
It worked, too. Sort of. It stabilized the aircraft long enough that he was able to guide the plane back over friendly territory. Landing the thing from the wing was out of the question (come on, that would be beyond crazy), so Caldwell tried to find a good spot in the battle-scarred landscape to try to not die a spectacular death.