Monday, May 22, 2006

A Fallen Hero


A. Scott Crossfield
1921-2006

I don’t have a lot of Heroes. There are a lot of people out there that I think have done some extraordinary things, but they are not my heroes. So, when someone passes away that I really do consider a true hero… well… that’s a time that I stand and take notice.
I just found out that Scott Crossfield died last month, when his Cessna 210a went down in a thunderstorm over Georgia.
“So,” you’re thinking, “lots of people crash in small private planes.” That thought tells me that you have no idea who this man was.
Crossfield has flown some of the fastest planes in the world, including the
  • Bell X-1 (Yep, the same plane in which Yeager broke the sound barrier.)
  • Northrop X-4
  • Douglas D-558-1 (he was the first to go Mach 2 in this plane)
  • Convair XF-92a
  • Bell X-5
  • North American X-15. This thing was designed to fly 250,000 feet (operational ceiling of 354,200 feet… that, by the way, is Damn near space! SpaceshipOne only went 328,000 feet. And Crossfield was never considered an astronaut, he was a test pilot) and travel at mach 6.72 (3,937 knots). He crashed the X-15 once. He had an engine burn up, so he landed it and broke the plane in half in the process.

So you can kind of see why I think that it’s a bit ironic that a pilot of his caliber could be taken out by a storm.
It’s hard to loose anyone, but a genuine hero? That there is a jagged little pill.

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