Bleeding profusely and in terrible agony, Aidan Liddell assessed the damage sustained by his RE5 plane during an attack by a German fighter. With the wheel control smashed in half and the throttle shot away, the plane would now be a nightmare to control. And there were his own injuries: his right thigh had been so badly hit that four inches of femur had been shot away and he was unable to move his leg. Peck insisted that Aidan should land, so that he could receive treatment, but that would mean that Peck would become a prisoner and Aidan would not countenance that. He would fly on, controlling the broken wheel with one hand and the rudder pedal with the other. The return flight would be, at best, precarious and, with a badly injured pilot, controls shot to pieces, heavy fire from the ground, and an aeroplane which was difficult to land even in the best of conditions, the odds suggested a calamitous conclusion. With 35 miles and a full half hour ahead of him, Aidan forged on and battled to keep his plane under control. They came under heavy fire crossing the lines, then, as the Belgian Flying Corps base at La Panne came into view, he now had to decide how to get his plane down without a throttle and with failing instruments.