In 1968, in protest of the UK government cutting military funding, a Royal Air Force pilot went rogue and flew a Hunter jet low over parliament, rattling their windows, before tucking through a gap just 200 ft wide in Tower Bridge. The stunt remains as a record to this day. youtube.com/watch?v=Gavx5…
British childrens' author Roald Dahl was a fighter pilot during World War Two and shot down five Axis aircraft over Greece and North Africa, qualifying him as a fighter ace. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roa…
Led Zeppelin bought their private jet β€œThe Starship” for part of their 1973 US tour for $30,000. Drummer John Bonham once flew the band from New York to LA even though he didn’t have a pilot’s license. led-zeppelin.org/the-star…
CIA had an instructions manual for U2 pilots describing what they could eat, so that didn't had the urge to poop while on mission, which often spanned around 9 hours. The plane had no means of disposing the fecal matter. warhistoryonline.com/inst…
That, in March 2001, while on a trip in Kenya, the pilot of an airplane with Rowan Atkinson in it fainted, so Atkinson took control and flew it, until the pilot recovered en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Row…
Helen Keller took over the controls of a Douglas Skymaster airplane for 20 minutes while flying over the Mediterranean during a trip from Rome to Paris. The instructions were relayed from the pilot to Polly Thompson, and then to Helen through fingerspelling. afb.org/HelenKellerArchiv…
Bessie Coleman was an American Aviator and the first black woman to earn a pilot's license.Because flying schools in the United States denied her entry,she taught herself French and moved to France,earning her license from France's well-known Caudron Brother's School of Aviation in just 7 months biography.com/explorer/be…
Because of the altitude at which they fly, U-2 pilots have to suck their food - provided in a toothpaste-like tube - through a straw built into their spacesuits. Because of the length of U2 missions, options include things like β€œcaffeinated apple pie” and β€œcaffeinated mac and cheese.” airman.dodlive.mil/2016/0…
Aeroflot Flight 593 crashed because the pilot let his kids fly the plane, who unknowingly disengaged the autopilot function. The crash killed everyone on board. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer…
In 1972 a Royal Air Force Harrier was struck in the engine intake by a large bird. After hearing irregular sounds in the engine the pilot ejected, only to watch his plane ascend beautifully into the clouds. It flew for 38 miles without a pilot before running out of fuel. aviation-safety.net/wikib…
Today I learned about Kenneth Taylor and George Welch, the first two American pilots to get airborne during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Both were recommended for the Medal of Honor, but this was denied on the basis that they had β€œtaken off without orders.” Together they shot down six Japanese planes. history.com/news/heroes-o…
A Graveyard Spiral is a phenomenon when a plane is titled and flying in a descending spiral, but the pilot doesn't detect the tilting and tries to correct the descent by pulling up, but this only tightens the spiral until the plane crashes. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gra…
A British pilot of a 747 announced to his passengers: Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress'. They landed safely with no injuries. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bri…
Mitigation explains one of the great anomalies of plane crashes. Crashes are far more likely to happen when the captain β€” that is, the more experienced pilot β€” is in the flying seat because of the 'Mitigated Speech'. whatsbestnext.com/2009/06…
In 1990, a pilot was partially sucked out of his plane when the windscreen failed. The cabin crew couldn't pull him back in so he dangled outside the plane for 20 minutes until the copilot landed the plane. The pilot made a full recovery. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bri…
Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart were very close friends. One time, they snuck out of the White House to go to a party together. After flying with Earhart, Roosevelt obtained a student’s permit to fly, though didn't pursue this further since Franklin didn't want his wife to be a pilot. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ele…
Pilot fish can form sort of symbiotic relationships with sharks to the point where if their shark is caught, the pilot fish will follow the boat that took it and become distressed when it can't find it or isn't near its "host" shark. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pil…
Over 140 Polish pilots flew in the British Air Force during the Battle of Britain, making them the largest non-British nationality in the force. 2nd was New Zealand, and 3rd was Canada. Nearly a quarter of the pilots that fought for the RAF and RN in the Battle of Britain were not British. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non…
Today I learned of Charles MCGEE a retired American fighter pilot who saw combat missions in World War II, Korean War, & Vietnam making him one of the longest active duty air force pilots in history(spanning 30 years). He is also one of the last living tuskegee airmen en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cha…
Hanns Scharff, a German Luftwaffe interrogator, used kindness and subterfuge to interrogate his charges. Hans created a bond with captured Allied pilots. His stratagem was subtle and calculated, and he never resorted to hurting any of the people with whom he came into contact warhistoryonline.com/inst…
A plotter against Hitler survived the war because the Nazi judge in his show trial was crushed by a column, still clutching the man's files, when the courtroom was bombed in an air raid led by a Jewish-American pilot en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fab…
When F4 Phantom pilots were carrying a nuclear payload, they were issued an eye patch. Before they flew into the target area, they would put the eye patch on, just in case they accidentally blinded themselves with one of their own nukes, they'd still have one good eye. Link is a pilot interview youtu.be/wuUXT3JQfMI
In WW2, destroyer crews loved to rescue downed pilots, because the reward for returning them to their carrier was 10 gallons (38 liters) of ice cream. oldnfo.org/2012/10/04/10-…
In 1974, a trainee who failed to become a US Army pilot stole a helicopter and buzzed around Washington DC to demonstrate his skills. He intended to personally surrender to President Nixon, and landed on the South Lawn en.wikipedia.org/wiki/197…
Today I learned about Washing Machine Charlie, a WW2 Japanese pilot who would fly by American bases at night with unsynchronized engines which would wake up the Americans. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Was…
In 1978 a plane suddenly disappeared flying over Bass strait, the last communication of pilot was, ' huge strange aircraft is hovering of top of plane'. after a pause, 'It is not an aircraft'. Disappearance still remains mystery military-airshows.co.uk/u…
Today I learned about a South Vietnam Pilot Who Performed a Daring Feat To Save His Family by landing a 2-Seater Cessna on an American aircraft carrier while escaping South Vietnam on its last full day as a country. historynet.com/maj-buang-…
Today I learned of Col. Bruce Carr. A P-51 pilot in WW2 who was shot down and managed to steal a German FW-190 and fly it back to England theaviationgeekclub.com/t…
A Russian airliner pilot let his 15 year old son fly the Airbus A310 setting off a chain of events in which resulted in the crashing of Aeroflot Flight 593 killing 75. youtube.com/watch?v=uQh-Y…
Roald Dahl (author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) popularized the concept of gremlins, which were a myth among pilots in the Royal Air Force, in his first novel, written for Walt Disney Productions. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gre…
Some of the retired Concordes have a pilot's hat permanently trapped in the cockpit, inserted during the final flight into a gap that opened up at high speed, but closed again as the fuselage cooled. youtube.com/watch?v=x4XBS…
In the 80s a British Harrier pilot got disoriented and, with less than a minute of fuel remaining, successfully landed on top of a flower shop van on the deck of a Spanish cargo ship. The ship's crew were awarded over 500,000 pounds for the safe delivery of the Harrier to the Royal Navy. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alr…
Actor Danny Kaye was also a world-class Chinese cook and had an airline pilot's license. kirkusreviews.com/book-re…
Today I learned about George Smith, a US test pilot who ejected from his plane at Mach 1.05 (777mph) and survived! whiteeagleaerospace.com/s…
In 2007, the hijacking of a Mauritanian flight was thwarted. Over the PA, the pilot instructed the passengers that he was about to make a bumpy landing, and they should attack the hijacker while he was off balance. He said this in French, which the gunman did not speak. The ploy succeeded. chron.com/news/nation-wor…
Pilots in Australia and Canada are allowed to take a β€œcontrolled rest in position”, which is a nap in the cockpit, when it is safe to do so time.com/5600729/pilots-s…
Today I learned of the sitcom pilot, "Where's Rodney" which aired once as a burn off during the summer on NBC in 1990, and was about a kid who can magically summon Rodney Dangerfield to give him advice. vulture.com/2013/07/where…
Today I Learned that in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), pilot Wedge Anles was played by three people. The first actor (Colin Higgins) was fired after one day on set, and the second actor (Denis Lawson) had a bad accent so a third actor (David Ankrum) dubbed all of Wedge's lines. nerdist.com/article/star-…
The original and mostly forgotten theme song for the 1963 pilot of Gilligan's Island was written by John Williams - then only a few years into his musical career. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil…
Today I learned of Northwest Airlines Flight 188. The pilots got distracted and overflew their destination by 150 miles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nor…
Before dogfighting was a thing, enemy pilots would simply exchange waves or shake their fists at one another. At the beginning of WWI, recon pilots would often resort to throwing bricks, grenades, and even rope in hopes that it would get entangled in the enemy's propellor. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog…
Kaley Cuoco’s Penny did not appear in the original The Big Bang Theory pilot. The first pilot included two female lead characters - Katie, "a street-hardened, tough-as-nails woman with a vulnerable interior" and Gilda, a scientist colleague and friend of the male characters. wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bi…
Airline pilots have to retire at 65. airspacemag.com/daily-pla…
The term β€œspook” was a popular slur for black people during WII. Its use was especially prevalent in the military. Nazi Germany’s Air Force was called the β€œLuftwaffe” so some people referred to the African-American Tuskegee Airmen as the β€œSpookwaffe”, including the pilots themselves. npr.org/sections/codeswit…
World-renowned behaviorist B.F. Skinner worked with the US military and General Mills to create β€œPigeons in a Pelican,” which involved training kamikaze pigeons to pilot a missile by pecking at it. army.mil/article/111511/i…
In 1989 A Soviet Pilot Abandoned His Plane Due To A System Failure Only To Have It Fly 900KM Unassisted And Kill Some Poor Random 18 Year Old Sap Sitting In His House In Kortrijk. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/198…
Today I learned about Thomas Norris, a Navy SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing two pilots during the Vietnam war. On a subsequent mission he was shot in the head and left for dead, but fellow SEAL Michael Thornton dragged him to a boat offshore and saved him. Thornton won the Medal of Honor. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tho…
In 2009 a passenger landed a multi engine airplane after the pilot died just 7 minutes into the flight cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/03/29…
The the Uffington White Horse, a famous British landmark, was covered with turf and hedge trimmings during WWII to prevent Luftwaffe pilots using it for navigation en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uff…
In April 1975, Major Buang Lee of the South Vietnamese Air Force became the first and only pilot to land a Cessna on an aircraft carrier, the USS Midway tacairnet.com/2015/08/20/…
A civilian who went on a fly-along aboard a French Air Force Rafale B fighter jet was accidentally ejected during flight. He survived with back injuries and the pilot managed to land the jet with minor injuries to his hands from broken canopy glass but the cause of the error is unknown. militarytimes.com/off-dut…
A BA pilot named Tim Lancaster in 1990 was sucked out of the cockpit. His crew held on to him. Lancaster lived to tell the tale. youtube.com/watch?v=pOcm6…
A cat called Minou, mascot of the β€˜16-34 ULM Club’ in French Guiana, took an unexpected ride on the wing of an open-air plane. The pilot guided the craft back to the ground as the kitty hung on. Video in article. The cat was safe. abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/…
Paul Tibbets -the pilot who dropped the Hiroshima bomb- requested not to have a grave, so antinuclear activists wouldn't protest on it. wsfa.com/story/7300956/am…
A helicopter pilot flew to 40820 feet, setting a world record for the highest altitude reached by a helicopter. However, when he started to descend, the engine failed, but he safely landed the helicopter with absolutely no power - a world record for the highest unpowered descent by a helicopter. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jea…
Tom Attridge, the pilot of the first jet aircraft to shoot itself down. He fired two bursts midway through a shallow dive. As the trajectory of the cannon rounds decayed, they ultimately crossed paths with the jet as it continued its descent. Though it was a crash-landing, he survived. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gru…
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels aerobatics team perform all their maneuvers on an aircraft with a modified control stick spring tensioned with 40 lbs of pressure. Additionally the pilots do not use G-suits despite making high-G maneuvers during their routines. blueangels.navy.mil/faq
Santa Claus was issued a pilot’s license from the U.S. government in 1927. They also gave him airway maps and promised to keep the runway lights on. didyouknowstuff.com/santa…
In 1927, a 12-year-old boy rode along with stunt pilot Doug Davis, throwing Baby Ruth candy bars down over a racetrack as part of a promotion. The boy loved the experience, and would grow up to be a pilot… of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eno…
In 1968 RAF pilot Alan Pollock illegally flew his Hawker Hunter Jet through the span of Tower Bridge in Central London. His actions were to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the RAF and as a demonstration against the Ministry of Defence for not recognising it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haw…
In 1927 Santa Clause was officially given a pilots license and airway maps from the Department of Commerce loc.gov/pictures/resource…
Today I learned about Manfred von Richtofen aka the Red Baron . The baron was a fighter pilot with the German Air Force during WW1. He is considered the ace-of-aces of the war, being officially credited with 80 air combat victories. history.com/topics/world-…
When Berlin had to be supplied through the air during the Soviet blockade of 1948, American pilot Gail Halvorsen began to drop sweets attached to handkerchief parachutes, which other pilots started to do as well. Thus, the planes came to be known as "raisin bombers" to the starving people below. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rai…
Michael Moore made a late talk show pilot for Fox in the 90s, which guest Kevin Smith. He also had O.J. Simpson as a guest, his first interview after the trial and the audience booed both Moore and OJ. Fox scrapped the project and never aired the pilot, and the footage was never publicly shown. indiewire.com/2016/08/mic…
The Air Force recently invented underwear for fighter pilots that automatically detects urine and flushes it into a sack where it freezes the urine for disposal after the flight, solving a major problem of inflight peeing. popularmechanics.com/mili…
In 2017, a navy pilot drew a giant penis in the sky with the contrails of his plane over a town in Washington where it remained for several hours. The town was understandably confused, and didn’t receive an explanation for almost two years! popularmechanics.com/mili…
In 1989 a plane flying over the Pacific Ocean experienced a malfunction, causing several rows of seats to be blown out of the plane, and the pilots were still able to make a successful landing. nytimes.com/1989/02/26/us…
Hot air balloon pilots don't directly control the direction of flight. They can only increase or decrease the balloon's altitude to place the balloon into a wind going the same direction they need. They have a few methods to check the direction of the air above and below the balloon. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot…
Returning from the last moon landing Charlie Duke (LM Pilot A16) lost his wedding ring. During an EVA to get film from outside the craft & standing in the open hatch tethered to Ken Mattingly the ring floated out, he missed the catch, it bounced off Ken’s head. Charlie caught it on the rebound. youtu.be/T2ktcXufbnU?t=23…
During WW2, twenty five soldiers were killed and another seventy one injured when an RAF pilot mistakenly strafed a crowd observing a military demonstration. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imb…
In 1973, a Marine pilot took a base helicopter and three crew members without permission to assist New Orleans police officers in fighting a mass shooter atop a downtown building. His actions saved countless lives, and he retired as a Lt General in 1990. nola.com/news/crime_polic…
Canadian author, Markoosie Patsauq published the first Inuktitut language novel in 1974. Patsauq wrote the coming of age story Harpoon of the Hunter in 1969 when he worked as a pilot (the first Inuk pilot in Canada), using material he had heard from family members en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
Iron Maiden lead singer, Bruce Dickinson is considered a polymath by Intelligent Life magazine due to excelling in a wide variety of pursuits. He is a commercial pilot, presented shows on radio and TV, written novels, brews his own beer and was once ranked 7th in Great Britain for fencing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bru…
During the Korean War, English-born John Koelsch was the first helicopter pilot awarded the Medal of Honor (posthumously) for volunteering to rescue a downed Marine without a fighter escort. He, his crew, and the pilot were all captured, yet Koelsch never broke despite dying in captivity. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh…
The king of Netherlands has a side-job as a part-time Boeing 737 pilot for KLM dailysabah.com/istanbul/2…
The movie Caddyshack was filmed at a golf course in Davie, Florida. The explosions that take place during the climax of the film were reported at the nearby Fort Lauderdale airport by an incoming pilot, who suspected that a plane had crashed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cad…
Today I learned of SR-71 Blackbird test pilot Bill Weaver, who survived a free fall from space after his plane disintegrated around him doing Mach 3.2 chuckyeager.org/news/sr-7…
Pilots dress as ship captains because the first long haul passenger airplanes used to be considered flying boats, since they landed on water. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air…
The pilot episode for Gilligan's Island was first aired in 1992, about 25 years after the three-year series' final episode. No series finale was ever filmed. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gil…
Today I learned about the business of β€œAdversary Air Support” in which a contractor has their own fleet of fighter jets that fly against U.S. military fighter pilots, replicating aerial threats from potential enemy nations. thedrive.com/the-war-zone…
The first British all-metal naval aircraft originally had a serious flaw in its hydraulic system that would sometimes spray ether directly in the pilot's face, knocking him unconscious. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fai…
Beate Uhse, before opening the 1st sex shop world wide, was a pilot in a German aircraft ferrying unit during WW2, flying, while occasionally being under attack, Stuka, Me 109 and even Me 262. April '45 she flew her son and his nanny on her own out of Soviet encircled Berlin to the west. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bea…
The first British jet fighter, the Meteor, killed more British pilots in accidents (450) than the Germans did in the Battle of Britain (407). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glo…
Chimney Swifts are among the most aerial and high-flying of all birds. These birds eat, drink, mate, and even sleep on the wing, but they alight to raise young.Their diet is mostly aerial plankton consisting of minute insects and newborn spiders. Pilots have reported seeing them at 7300 ft high. abcbirds.org/bird/chimney…
Luftwaffe pilot Paul Ratz was flying his fw190 fighter near St. Petersburg during ww2 and was shot down. His plane was found years later in a forest and has been restored to flying order since. warhistoryonline.com/whot…
Today I learned of Aeroflot Flight 6502, where the pilot made a bet with the co-pilot that he could land the plane "blind". The plane crashed, resulting in 70 fatalities. The pilot survived, and served only a 6-year prison sentence. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer…
In 2013 a local tv station anchor read the names of 4 pilots involved in a crash landing for Asiana Flight 214 into SFO from a telepromptor as Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Lo, Ho Lee Fuk, and Bang Ding Ow, without realizing the names were obvious trolling. Four members of the station lost their jobs. sfgate.com/bayarea/matier…
During the Korean War, hundreds of American pilots fought and died in a hot aerial war with the Soviet Union, which flew 75% of all fighter missions in support of North Korea. This was kept secret by both countries until the end of the Cold War to avoid pressure for confrontation. questia.com/read/1P3-4369…
On December 16, 1965, NASA received a prank transmission from two astronauts: "We have an object, probably in polar orbit... I see a command Module and and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit." They then started playing, "Jingle Bells". smithsonianmag.com/histor…
Largely unknown to the outside world, the lake-filled Pingualuit crater had long been known to local Inuit who knew it as the "Crystal Eye of Nunavik" for its clear water. WWII pilots often used the almost perfectly circular landmark as a navigational tool en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin…
The pilot 'Ian Fleming's Solo' was sued by the producers of the James Bond films for their exclusive usage of Fleming's name and the name 'Solo' (a character in Goldfinger). Fleming denied selling the producers the name 'Solo' but the show still had to be renamed to 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
Sabiha GΓΆkΓ§en, one of the 13 children adopted by Mustafa Kemal AtatΓΌrk, became at the age of 23 the world's first female fighter pilot. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sab…
There is a unaired American remake pilot of the UK sitcom "Peep Show", starring Johnny Galecki and Josh Meyers as roommates, in 2005. It was made three years before "The Big Bang Theory". radiotimes.com/news/2015-…
The death of all 301 passengers in Saudi Arabia in 1980 is the world’s deadliest aviation accident not to involve a crash or mid-flight break up. After landing when a fire started in the cargo bay the pilot taxied the aircraft back towards the terminal. All on board died from smoke inhalation. telegraph.co.uk/travel/tr…
The Simpsons episode β€œ22 Short Films About Springfield” was a backdoor pilot for a proposed series. 'Tales from Springfield' would have told three different short stories per week, focusing on secondary characters and telling stories about the Simpsons family members’ past or future. vulture.com/2012/06/the-l…
Today I learned about the Eastern-European pilots that fought in the Battle of Britain during WW2. Apparently, almost a fifth of the British aviation at the time was made up of Czech, Polish and various other Eastern European soldiers. youtube.com/watch?v=Rx1AG…
Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, the aircraft that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, named the aircraft after his mother, Enola Gay Tibbets. Also, when he was 12, Paul Tibbets dropped candy bars in parachutes over a racetrack to spectators from an airplane. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pau…
One of the reasons why the original pilot of star trek "The Cage" was not well received by NBC executes was the prominence of women on the bridge of the Enterprise. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Num…
Several famous actors were decorated during WWII. Henry Fonda won a Bronze Star in the Pacific, Walter Matthau was awarded six battle stars while serving on a B-17. Christopher Lee was a pilot in the Royal Air Force and also won a number of awards. ww2gravestone.com/fascina…
The crash of N4252G in 2016 involved an ever escalating feedback-loop of a comedy-of-errors between a pilot and control tower, that quickly deteriorated into sudden-instant tragedy, killing all onboard. (Starts at 2:13) youtu.be/mf3xhjXl454?t=13…

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