CHICO, Calif. -

 A stunt pilot told stories of cheating death to Rotarians in Chico on Tuesday afternoon.

Pilot Wayne Handley said he began his flying career in the military as a U.S. Navy pilot.

He crashed a plane as a serviceman, but he said his commanding officer was relieved to see that he crashed because if he had wandered onto a target range, he would have lost his commission.

Handley spent 40 years as a crop duster pilot and owner before becoming a stunt pilot.

When he finally did become a stunt pilot, he pancaked his stunt plane, compressing his spine, literally becoming three inches shorter.

Handley went on to say that he met up with Oracle Software Company Founder Larry Ellison, who financed the stunt plane.

After Handley's accident, he said he would retire from stunt flying. Upon hearing this, he said Ellison gave him a $260,000 plane.

Handley still flies to this day.