Scott Crossfield, RIP


First man to travel at Mach 2 has finally been brought down: not by an X-1, an X-15, an XF-92, or a D-558-II, but a single-engine Cessna that crashed in northern Georgia during a flight from Alabama to the 84-year-old Crossfield's home in Manassas, VA.

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  1. live by the plane, die by the plane

  2. My heart goes out to his family.

    This is off-topic…I take it, from your name and catchphrase, you’re a Libertarian organization.

    What is your opinion on Tax Reform? I know yer agin’ em, but I’d like to know your alternatives.

  3. At first I thought the post said a plane crashed into his house (I don’t know why). That’s sad. He’ll be missed.

  4. The fact that this man made it to 84 given the massively high risks of his test pilot career is astonishing. RIP.

  5. Cessnas are not tricky to fly. Most likely he died or passed out in flight.

  6. As a relatively inexperienced pilot myself I always find it unsettling when such experienced pilots die in plane crashes. Mountain flying can be dangerous (nowhere for emergency landings) but in the end I guess it’s just the luck of the draw.

    There is little solace in the idea that “he died doing what he loved” since hardly anyone loves plummeting groundward. There is, however, solace in the fact that test pilots like Crossfield have made aviation much safer for the rest of us…up to and including anyone who has ever boarded a commercial airliner. Thanks for that, Scott.

  7. Died doing what he loved. Can’t beat that.
    Except…er…peacefully in bed I suppose.

  8. What a great American. That is a shame, but I guess if you asked him when he was young how he would like to die, I don’t suppose he would have objected if you told him at age 84 flying an airplane.

  9. Nicely put, John.

  10. Godfrey-Since he was a test pilot, I’m sure he was to busy trying things to save his own ass to contemplate what was about to happen.

    Ragnar-This is indeed a libertarian site, but it’s attached to Reason Magazine, a venerable name in the movement. I doubt the magazine has any specific position on tax reform, since it’s not particularly doctrinaire about anything. Try the search feature-you’ll probably find a bunch of articles from difference perspectives.

  11. If private airplanes were illegal, this tragedy would never have happened!

  12. Slightly off topic, but TV stations need to go back to airing High Flight at the end of their broadcast day.

  13. Damn Straight Jeff.

  14. Slightly off topic, but TV stations need to go back to airing High Flight at the end of their broadcast day.

    Also off-topic, but I wish they would also start airing old episodes of Flying Blind. (This is pretty much how I imagine the life of Jeff and Jennifer to be.)

    In all seriousness, Godspeed to the high-flying Crossfield.

  15. When his plane was first reported missing I went looking for information on him (he was one of my childhood heroes) and found a wonderful interview with him where he tells all about NASA, the Apollo project, the National Space Plane and other things. Not surprisingly, one of his major conclusions: unless it’s related to military issues, governments usually screw things up. Reference

  16. At least he wasn;t flying a plane with a Corvair engine. Unsafe at any altitude.

  17. Stevo, our life isn’t nearly as exciting. We now have more computers than people living in our place, and often we’re both on the couch watching TV, each with a laptop. Sad, really.
    I can also be found in my comic-and-action-figure festooned room…

  18. On Taxes:

    I was just talking about you folks personally. I’ve talked to Libs who want the Flat Tax, the National Sales Tax, the “Constitution Tax” (duties and tariffs), or simply reduced regular taxes. I was wondering if there were any other opinions on it.

  19. I could get behind a strict sales tax, or consumption tax.

    And I would say there has to be a “poverty level” or something, where if you don’t make a certain percent of the national average, or however it would be determined, you don’t pay taxes.

    I’m no expert on the matter, though.

  20. He went over Mach II in a single engine cessna? Wow… the mind revolts…

  21. live by the plane, die by the plane

    What’re you saying? I currently live by my neighbors…

  22. Ragnar: non-progressive flat tax seems like the way to go in my book. 10% to 15% should do it, assuming we trim some of the fat from the budget. And when I say “trim” I’m talking major liposuction.

    Consumption taxes or national sales taxes sound great, as long as your goal is to discourage people from spending their money and completely hobble the economy. Just one man’s opinion.

  23. Cessnas are not tricky to fly. Most likely he died or passed out in flight.

    Probably either that or the plane had a defect. We may never know.

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