Testing The SidewinderEdit

The U.S. Army is testing a new path-clearing, mobile base called the Sidewinder
Sidewinder Falls Into Pit
in the African jungle when the ground below it begins to crumble and collapse. The Sidewinder has strayed onto a World War 2 landfill covered by a thin crust of soil which caves in under the machine's immense weight. The old ordnance in the pit bursts into flame as the Sidewinder falls in,
Sideinder In Pit
threatening the lives of the crew when the power fails and the internal cooling system shuts down, but the vehicle has fallen onto its side and is unable to climb out.

Into The PitEdit

A supervising Army helijet
32 crew
lowers two men into the pit: one to get below the smoke to determine the Sidewinder's situation, another to attach a cable to its leg. Both men suffer severe burns and are rushed to hospital in the helijet while the more powerful helicopter pulls the cable in an attempt to right the Sidewinder. Their efforts are in vain when the cable detaches itself before the Sidewinder is properly on its feet and falls back onto its side. Despairing, General Peters
Copter watchdog

comments that without heavy lifting gear it will be impossible to effect a rescue, which reminds Lieutenant Ralph of International Rescue. They radio a call for help which is picked up by Thunderbird 5.

Thunderbirds On Stand-ByEdit

In reality, International Rescue had been monitoring the situation since the disaster first occurred, but Jeff had not launched the Thunderbirds at the risk of intruding on a confidential mission. Instead, he has Scott in Thunderbird 1 and Virgil and Brains in Thunderbird 2 ready for immediate launch in case their help is needed. When John reports that a call for help has been received, Thunderbirds 1 and 2 launch and make their way to the danger zone.

Brains Devises A StrategyEdit

The General is growing quite impatient when Scott arrives and Thunderbird 1 and sets up Mobile Control. To further analyse the situation, he sends his Remote Camera into the pit and relays the video to Brains in Thunderbird 2, who realises that the Sidewinder has fallen into a landfill and devises a strategy for pulling it out. When Thunderbird 2 arrives, the Army helicopter lowers Virgil (wearing a fireproof suit) into the pit to lay charges that will blow away the rest of the soil crust. Scott then retrieves Virgil using the Mole.

Recovery Vehicles In ActionEdit

Once the Mole is safely out of the way, Brains detonates the charges and Virgil takes the two Recovery Vehicles
to the edge of the pit and fires down cables that attach to the Sidewinder using magnetic grapples. While pulling the Sidewinder out of the pit, one of the cables comes loose forcing Virgil to wind the cable back in and fire again before the machine slips back into the pit. The Sidewinder is successfully pulled to safety and the men inside are taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries, though not before Scott receives thanks from the Sidewinder's commander for saving all of their lives. Thunderbird 1 and Thunderbird 2 lift off and head back to Tracy Island, then the U.S Army Helicopter takes off and heads back to their base.
Sidewinder After Pit Disaster

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