The most successful Nazi interrogator in world war 2 never physically harmed an enemy soldier, but treated them all with respect and kindness, taking them for walks, letting them visit their comrades in the hospital, even letting one captured pilot test fly a plane. Virtually everybody talked. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han…
A US Army helicopter mechanic, upset he couldn't be a pilot, stole a Huey chopper & flew around DC. When he returned to the White House a 2nd time, Secrete Service fired over 300 rounds. Hit 5 times, Pvt Preston landed & was tackled trying to gain entry. He spent just 8 months in prison. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/197…
Walt Disney accidentally "kidnapped" Richard Nixon by dispatching his monorail train before the Secret Service could get on. The agents ran after the train and attempted to jump onboard but the doors had already closed. Monorail pilot Bob Gurr was terrified; Nixon got a kick out of it. waltdisney.org/blog/steal…
In the 1950's the US airforce tried to design a cockpit to fit the average pilot's body. After measuring 4000 pilots they discovered that none of them came close to having an average body. This lead to introduction of adjustable seats. worldwarwings.com/1950s-s…
British breweries donated free beer to soldiers during WWII, but after D-Day, there was no room for it on the ships going across the English Channel. Spitfire mechanics and pilots worked together to modify pylons to carry beer kegs and deliver brews to the troops. Flying high enough chilled it. aviationhumor.net/spitfir…
In 1988, a 737 experienced explosive decompression in flight, removing a large piece of the roof of the plane. With only the floor holding the plane together, the pilots managed to land the plane 13 minutes later. A flight attendent getting sucked out of the plane was the only casuality. airwaysmag.com/airlines/3…
Today I learned about Viktor Belenko, the Soviet MiG pilot that in 1976 defected to the USA via Japan and stole a MiG-25 jet. The USA returned the jet a year later disassembled and categorized in boxes. bbc.com/future/article/20…
, American pilots flew P-51 Mustangs in Very Long Range misisons operating from the island of Iwo Jima during WW2. These 7+ hour missions involved flying 3 hours across the open Pacific to targets in Japan and then 3+ hours return flight. Threats included bad weather, flak, enemy planes, etc. flynata.org/content.aspx?…
In 1943 after Naval intelligence provided them with his exact itinerary, US fighter pilots successfully shot down a transport plane carrying Admiral Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Yamamoto was believed to be responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ope…
Today I learned of Bessie Coleman, the first African American and Native American female pilot who would only perform if the crowds were desegregated and entered thru the same gates. womenshistory.org/educati…
, during Korean War, U.S Navy pilot Royce Williams shot down 4 swept-wing Soviet MiG-15s in a single mission on November 18, 1952, while flying a straight-wing F9F Panther. It is considered a unique feat since the MiGs have better high-altitude performance than the F9F, and was faster by 100 MPH. theaviationgeekclub.com/t…
Today I learned about "the miracle" Olympic Airways Flight 411, when the aircraft lost an engine and critical engine power, but the pilot was able to successfully land it. All following Boeing simulations show that the plane should have crashed; it's still listed as Lost. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oly…
Aeroflot Flight 821 crashed because the captain was drunk. All 88 people died. Additionally, the pilots joined the airline through forged papers. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer…
The world’s largest compass rose is located near Edwards Airforce base in California, USA in a dry lake bed to help pilots with malfunctioning equipment to orient themselves over the featureless landscape. atlasobscura.com/places/w…
Faced with a severe pilot shortage during WWII, the USA started a program called WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) to train women to be pilots. 1100 women volunteered to fly military aircraft. They were finally granted military status in the 1970s and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2009. npr.org/2010/03/09/123773…
Today I learned about a pilot who ejected in a thunderstorm and took 40 minutes to land en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wil…
Today I learned of Eugene Bullard. America’s First Black fighter pilot who without the wager of a $2,000 bet would have never flown at all. Remarkably, he fought for the French, was a boxer, stevedore, jazz drummer, club manager and finally an elevator operator in NYC. historynet.com/eugene-bul…
In June 1946 an airplane traveled from Rome to Paris, crossing over the Mediterranean Sea. The pilot operating the plane was Dr. Helen Keller, an American author, educator, and activist who since childhood had been both blind and deaf. britannica.com/story/how-…
The Uffington White Horse, a prehistoric hill figure in Oxfordshire, England, was covered over with turf and hedge trimmings during the Second World War so that Luftwaffe pilots could not use it for navigation during bombing raids. smithsonianmag.com/histor…
In 1933, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were at a White House event when they whimsically abandoned their guests for a joyride. Both took turns flying and Roosevelt later stated, "It does mark an epoch, doesn't it, when a girl in an evening dress and slippers can pilot a plane at night." baltimoresun.com/news/bs-…
Charles Lindbergh may have been known as a legendary pilot but he was also a Nazi sympathizer and spokesperson for the America First Committee. pbs.org/wgbh/americanexpe…
In 1986, two Russian airline pilots got into an argument over wether one could land the plane without vision. The main pilot pulled the curtains over the windows, insisting he could. Then, the plane missed the runway, flipped and killed 70 of the passengers en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aer…
The crash of Pacific Airlines Flight 773 is the worst mass murder in modern California history after a gunman shot the pilots and then himself causing the plane to crash and killing all 44 aboard. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pac…
Today I learned about 8-pass Charlie, a Pakistani pilot that was notable during the war with India for not dropping his bombs in a single pass, but making eight passes bombing a selected target in each. To this day, his identity is still unknown. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8-P…
Although they failed to find missing pilot Steve Fossett for years, in the days following his disappearance, they DID find EIGHT other previously unidentified crash sites. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ste…
Today I learned of Victor Prather, a NASA pilot who successfully tested a new space suit in a low-orbit flight in 1961. Prather opened his suit’s faceplate when he could breathe again on descent, and landed in the ocean as planned; however, his suit’s buoyancy was ruined by his open faceplate, and he drowned. collaborativefund.com/blo…
Botswana airline pilot with a grudge with Air Botswana crashed a stolen Air Botswana plane into two other Air Botswana plane parked, These 3 planes were the only 3 operating planes in Air Botswana Fleet effectively crippling operations for Air Botswana. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/199…
The pilot episode for The Muppet Show was titled Sex and Violence en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
During WW2, an American pilot was awarded a 'kill' for shooting down two American transport planes. He did it to prevent them from landing at an enemy runway. youtube.com/watch?v=CLUVd…
In 1983 a Mexican pilot crashed landed in a small town in Ireland and the whole town came together to build a temporary runway for him to take off again and continue his flight. irishexaminer.com/lifesty…
Harry Shearer was in the 1957 pilot of Leave it to Beaver as a smart-aleck character that inspired the Eddie Haskell character in the production series. youtube.com/watch?v=rJe1e…
Today I learned the first episode of a series is called a pilot because it leads what is to follow, and establishes its tone and pace. wyzant.com/resources/answ…
The first pilot to spot incoming Japanese fighters at Pearl Harbor was a woman. Her name was Cornelia Fort and she was a civilian flight instructor. 2 years later she was killed in a mid-air collision and became the first female pilot to be killed on active military duty. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cor…
In 1940, on the way to their invasion or Ardennes, France, the massive German army got into a major traffic jam. French reconnaissance pilots spotted it and reported it to French High Command who promptly said "that can't be true" and ignored it. An aerial attack could have ended the war historyhit.com/how-a-coup…
Naco, AZ was accidentally bombed in 1929, destroying buildings and a car. Patrick Murphy, a pilot hired by rebels, accidentally bombed Naco, AZ instead of Naco Mexico across the border. The mistake has been blamed on high winds and alcohol. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat…
FAA regulations prohibit airline pilots from talking about subjects that are unrelated to safely conducting their flight while taxiing and while flying below 10,000 feet altitude sfgate.com/travel/article…
Sabiha Gokcen was a Turkish aviator and the first female fighter pilot in the world. She was the only female pilot listed in The United States Airforce "20 Greatest Aviators in History" publication. Furthermore, she was one of the thirteen children adopted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. thenewfederalist.eu/europ…
Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has a pilot's license, and liked to fly from the Vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo. catholicnewsagency.com/re…
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…
From 1943-45, British military pilots were issued "escape boots". If they had to bail out over enemy territory, a concealed knife in one boot cΠΎuld bΠ΅ used to cut away the upper section, and convert them into "ordinary" shoes, which would help the airman pass himself off as a civilian iwm.org.uk/history/6-esca…
The lifespan of the first generation of postal pilots was around 900 flight hours. The job was so dangerous that 35 of the first 40 pilots hired died in crashes, leading to the nickname 'The Suicide Club'. postalmuseum.si.edu/the-s…
US Air Force pilot Brian Udell once survived ejecting at supersonic speed, and was severely injured by the wind. His navigator did the same and died instantly. youtube.com/watch?v=Hecyx…
During the filming for a 1996 Black & Decker commercial, a veteran helicopter pilot named Michael Tamburo was killed after the aircraft hit a rock and crashed which injured two more on set. latimes.com/archives/la-x…
A "Graveyard Spiral" is a type of dangerous spiral dive entered into accidentally by a pilot who is not trained or not proficient in instrument flight. Graveyard spirals are the result of several sensory illusions in aviation, causing the pilot lose the orientation of their aircraft. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gra…
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…
Today I learned of "The Works"; an unfinished computer animated film which began in 1979 as the brainchild of eccentric millionaire Dr. Alexander Schure. It would've been the first 3D CGI film in history and starred robot "Ipso Facto", young female pilot "T-Square", and a giant robotic ant as the main villain. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…
After an airplane crash in 1989 the Pilots’ union (ALPA) deliberately prevented the NTSB from questioning or testing the pilots for drugs/alcohol for over 3 days. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USA…
The pilot of the failed Challenger spacecraft's last audible words were "Uh oh" britannica.com/event/Chal…
No Kum-Sok, the first pilot to defect with an operational aircraft, received a $100,000 reward from Operation Moolah in 1953. He landed the wrong way on the runway: had he tried to land in the right direction, he would have been spotted and shot down. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_…
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…

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