A fuel system malfunction caused the pilot’s F-16 to "pressure disconnect" after 500 pounds of fuel.
Making matters worse, the incident began as the airman and his plane rocketed across the Syrian sky in territory held by ISIS.
The Air Force Times reports the crew of a KC-135 Stratotanker happened to be in the area to service A-10 Warthogs when the call to help came.
Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Hallberg wrote, “knowing the risks to their own safety, the tanker crew put the life of the F-16 pilot first, and made what could've been an international tragedy a feel-good news story."
The heroic gesture came last year but is now being made public by several sources.
If the nearly $19 million aircraft had crashed, the pilot could have ejected. But Sky News reminds, “in December 2014; a Jordanian pilot crashed in Syria and was captured by ISIS members and burned alive.”
"The first thought I had was extreme pride for the crew in how they handled the emergency," Hallberg said proudly. "I'm sure they think it was not a big deal. However, that's because they never want the glory or fame."