Friday, April 21, 2006

A Hero Passes

One of my heroes died yesterday.

Scott Crossfield was among my childhood who pushed the limits of aviation simply because he could. He was to be one of the true "cowboys" of aviation--eventually becoming the first person to break Mach 2 (a record which Chuck Yeager promptly surpassed).

He was portrayed by Scott Wilson in the movie The Right Stuff, one of my all-time favorite films.

Although I am sad to see his passing, he went in a manner that I think most pilots, when their time comes, would like to go--in a fireball rather than a hospital bed. He was a legend among the few I consider to be legendary in my profession.

Partly due to his specific loss, what I fear this marks is the beginning of the passing of those heroes from the 40's, 50's, and 60's. What is truly sad is that when you ask kids today who these guys are, noone knows anymore. Noone from this generation, and few from my own, knows who Neil Armstrong, Chuck Yeager, John Glenn, or any of those people are. The view WWII vets as "not a big deal."

Hopefully in schools they're showing these movies, such as The Right Stuff and Saving Private Ryan, and hopefully some teachers are out there trying to get these kids to appreciate people such as Scott Crossfield.

Rest in Peace, cowboy. You've earned it.


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