In 1915, a pilot planned a stunt to drop a baseball into an MLB coach’s glove from a plane during a flyover. As a prank she dropped a grapefruit instead; it exploded in the coach’s glove and covered him in red pulp, and he was convinced he was seriously injured and bleeding to death. mlb.com/news/wilbert-robi…
Theodore Roosevelt's youngest son Quentin Roosevelt I was a pilot in World War I and was killed in France during combat. He is the only child of a US President to die in combat en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Que…
In 2004, a woman's steel chastity belt triggered a security alarm at the metal detector. The woman explained that her husband had forced her to wear the device to prevent an extramarital affair while she was on vacation in Greece. She continued her flight to London on the pilot's authority. abc.net.au/news/2004-02-0…
In 1992, a hurricane hit Hawaii where they were filming "Jurassic Park." Spielberg's crew had to be evacuated via helicopter; the pilot, Fred Sorenson, had previously met Spielberg while playing the pilot in the opening scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" reviewjournal.com/news/fa…
Chuck Yeager enlisted as private, was an aircraft mechanic before becoming a pilot, got shot down over France but escaped, had 11.5 aerial victories, broke the sound barrier and multiple speed records as a test pilot, and retired from the US Air Force after 34 years as a brigadier general. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…
In during WW2, an American bomber -*ye olde pub*- was nearly shot down. A German fighter gave chase and once in range, he noticed the dead and injured crew and the terror in the pilots face. He didn’t attack and escorted the plane. Both pilots survived the war and finally met in 1990 jalopnik.com/why-a-german…
The helmet of a F-35 pilot is $400,000 aviationtoday.com/2018/08…
Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947 only after Bell Aircraft balked at the $150,000 bonus requested by their own test pilot. Yeager completed the task as part of his standard USAAF $283/month Captain’s salary. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…
A test pilot for the SR-71 Blackbird had the aircraft disintegrate around him while flying at nearly 80,000 feet, while going Mach 3.1 (2,300mph), and lived. chuckyeager.org/news/sr-7…
I learned about Hazel Ying Lee, the first Chinese-American pilot supporting the US Army during WW2. One time, her aircraft made an emergency landing on a farm. The farmer saw her, grabbed a pitchfork, and chased her around the plane, shouting to neighbors that the Japanese had invaded Kansas. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haz…
Lt. Pham Quang Khiem managed to escape South Vietnam in April 1975 with 53 relatives and friends by stealing a C-130a and flying to Singapore. They were later flown to Guam and then the US, where Pham became a pilot for US Airways. The C-130a is currently at the National Warplane Museum. newyorkupstate.com/southe…
On August 24, 2001, Air Transat Flight 236 lost all of its fuel in mid air, the captain(a glider pilot) then proceeded to glide the Airbus A330, with 306 occupants, without any power, for 19 minutes, covering some 120 km, until landing hard at Lajes Air Base with 0 casualties en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air…
The United States Navy Pre-Flight School created a routine to help pilots fall asleep in 2 minutes or less. It took pilots about 6 weeks of practice, but it worked β€” even after drinking coffee and with gunfire noises in the background. healthline.com/health/hea…
The design of carburetors in British WWII fighter aircraft had a fault that would shut down the aircraft's engine during a negative-G force maneuver. In 1941 a female engineer solved the problem with a simple device, which British pilots then named after her. It was named Miss Shilling's orifice en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mis…
Today I learned about Air Ramming, a last-ditch tactic pilots used primarily in both World Wars when they ran out of ammunition, to try and make the other aircraft lose control. It was not considered "suicidal" like Kamikaze attacks, but was still extremely dangerous. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer…
Today I learned about the Kamov ka-50, The first operational helicopter to be equipped with ejector seats. In an emergency situation, the blades are designed to eject from its sleeve a fraction of a second before the pilot's ejector seat is activated en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kam…
While he was being given Military Honors for fighting 2 wars in France, the first black fighter pilot - an American - wasn't allowed to fly in the U.S. Air Force. apple.co/2KTn6tm
In 1984 NASA crashed a fully fueled Boeing passenger jet, with crash dummies as passengers and pilots into the Mojave desert. The crash was filmed from multiple angles at high speed in 16MM film. The knowledge gained from this test lead to major changes in airline flight safety standards. supercluster.com/editoria…
Today I learned of Frederick Libby, "The Flying Cowboy". A rancher in the last years of the Wild West (Buffalo Bill amongst his family's clients), who went on to fight in WW1. Here he became a pilot and America's first flying ace, notably fighting against the Red Baron. He survived the war and lived until 1970. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fre…
The My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War ended only after Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, an Army helicopter pilot on a reconnaissance mission, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks. history.com/topics/vietna…
In May 1944, Robert Schock, a diver on the USS Bunker Hill, found the intact body of the kamikaze pilot, Kyoshi Ogawa, who’d hit the flight deck, and recovered his personal effects. In 2001, Schock’s grandson returned them to Ogawa’s family. sfgate.com/news/article/D…
One of the founders of Whataburger was a pilot and designed the buildings as such so that he would be able to spot his own establishments when in the air. He later died in a private plane crash findagrave.com/memorial/1…
There was a WW2 kamikaze pilot who returned from his missions 9 times before being convicted and executed for cowardice youtu.be/_1VoMLwb_oA
In 1976 a local pilot crashed his plane into the top deck of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium ten minutes after a playoff game ended. The pilot reportedly had a grudge against a former Baltimore Colts player, and had previously dropped bottles and toilet paper onto his restaurant. baltimorefishbowl.com/sto…
Pilots of the Royal Air Forces bombed and strafed a german flotilla in May 1945, just 5 days before the end of the war. This fleet was (unknown for the pilots) heavily laden with concentration camp prisoners and some SS personel. From over 7800 inmates on two ships just 400 survived. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_…
Today I learned about the Night Witches, an all-female squadron of Russian pilots and navigators who flew wooden bi-planes on dangerous bombing missions during WW2. history.co.uk/article/the…
Today I learned of a US Navy pilot in 1998 who flew too low against regulations, cutting a gondola's cable and killing 20 people. He and his crew were put on trial and found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cav…
While Canadian pilot Arthur Roy Brown is credited with shooting down the Red Baron's plane, the Red Baron himself was actually killed after being shot once in the heart by small arms fire from the ground, not the air. It is still unknown who, exactly, fired the fatal bullet. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man…
Today I learned of the "Ghosts of Flight 401", a fairly well documented case of "ghost pilots trying to save their planes" confessionsofatrolleydoll…
Chuck Yeager, the first pilot in history to have exceeded the speed of sound was assigned as advisor to the Pakistani Air Force by then US Ambassador to Pakistan during the 1971 war against India. His aircraft, a Beechcraft was destroyed in an Indian air raid on an airbase in Islamabad. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu…
NBC randomly aired a 1989 sitcom pilot in prime time called "The Nerd", with no intention of ever picking it up and no explanation why they are airing in 1996. It never aired again. youtube.com/watch?v=ylxGE…
In Top Gun, Maverick goes into a flat spin which he cannot recover and crashes into the ocean, killing Goose. During production the stunt pilot hired to perform and film the scene went into the flat spin but couldn't recover, crashed into the ocean and died. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Top…
In 1920 a young American woman found a financial sponsor though a newspaper, traveled to France, and learned how to become a stunt pilot. She returned to the US as the first woman in the country to hold a pilots license. She was of African and Native American descent. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bes…
Along with the Captain, ships sometime need a Pilot to navigate through dangerous/ unknown waters. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mar…
The 1980 film Airplane! was released as "The Incredible Journey in a Crazy Plane" in Germany; "The Craziest Plane in the World" in Italy; and some variation of "Is There a Pilot on This Plane?" in France, Croatia, and Peru oversixty.asia/entertainm…
There is an unaired Game of Thrones pilot that featured a number of different actors in significant roles...including Daenerys (eventually played by Emilia Clarke) ew.com/tv/game-of-thrones…
John Travolta has been a fully licensed pilot since age 22. He owns several planes including a Boeing 707 and even has a taxiway leading straight to his door in Florida. He says his acting career has funded his passion for aviation. bjtonline.com/business-je…
The Seinfeld Chronicles wasn't picked up after its pilot aired in 1989 tvguide.com/news/seinfeld…
Today I learned about Captain Eric Brown, a WW2 Royal Navy test pilot, who had flown 487 different types of aircraft, including captured enemy aircraft. He also still holds the record for the most carrier deck landings and take offs and many aviation firsts such as first jet landing on a carrier deck. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eri…
Leul Abate the pilot for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 that crashed in the ocean was previously got involved in 2 other hijackings en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eth…
A legendary Nazi Stuka ace pilot, Hans-Ulrich Rudel, who was credited with destroying over 800 vehicles, was consulted to help develop the the A-10 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber arizonadailyindependent.c…
Today I learned about 'The Adventures of Superpup', a 1958 unaired live-action TV pilot, in which the Superman story takes place in a universe populated by dogs, not people. Superpup (or Bark Bent) saves his friend Pamela Poodle from evil Professor Sheepdip. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
In the Pilot Episode of Spongebob (Known as 'Help Wanted'), the song Livin' in the Sunlight, Lovin' in the Moonlight by Tiny Tim was featured. This song is what prevented this episode to appear on the Season 1 DVD as Nickelodeon didn't want to have to pay royalties to the artist. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hel…
In 1942 British fighter pilots put on a live-fire demonstration for military personnel. One pilot mistook the spectators for dummies and opened fire on them. Sixteen officers and seven soldiers were killed. dirkdeklein.net/2017/04/1…
In 1989 Australian cricketer David Boon drank 52 cans of beer on a single flight to England for a match. It was celebrated by an announcement from the pilot. cricketcountry.com/articl…
One of the top security experts at the FBI, Frank Abagnale, was also one of the most successful con-mans of all time. He posed as a pilot to travel for free on over 250 flights to 25 countries aged between 16-18, and had scammed his father out of $28k (adjusted for inflation) aged just 15. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fra…
In 1967 a Munich resident Helmut G. Winter built a catapult to launch Bavarian potato dumplings at noisy planes flying over his house forcing the West German Luftwaffe pilots to concede defeat and change their flight path. reuters.screenocean.com/r…
John Denver's death was caused by his inability to switch fuel tanks during flight. The selector valve handle should have been located between the pilot's legs, but the builder put it behind the pilot's left shoulder. The fuel gauge was behind the pilot, not visible by him. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh…
The creators of the Game of Thrones TV series, Benioff and Weiss, had no prior experience in television and only limited experience writing movie scripts. Their original pilot episode was so poorly received at test screenings that HBO demanded that they re-shoot 90% of it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gam…
John Hemingway is the last surviving Royal Air Force pilot to have fought in the Battle of Britain. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joh…

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