I have recently become interested in the trials and tribulations of Truman-era test pilots, the same ballsy crew whose death-defying exploits were chronicled in a book you may have read. Brave men, for sure, but their pursuit was relatively safe compared to that of aviation’s earliest pioneers. As this amazingly exhaustive necrology (PDF) makes clear, the fatality rate for pre-1914 pilots was nothing short of astronomical. If the sheer length of the documents makes your eyes glaze over, you can instead check out the handy-dandy visual chart above, which unfortunately has an equally large part two. These are the men and women whose sacrifice you should keep in mind the next time you feel your flight’s wheels safely slam into a runway’s pavement.
For Those About to Crash…
September 13th, 2012 · 4 Comments