Taffy Holden, the Accidental Lightning Pilot

In the United Kingdom in 1966, an RAF ground crewman conducting an electrical test suddenly finds himself airborne. Taffy Holden, the accidental Lightning pilot, deserves to be remembered.

Olive Ann Beech: The First Lady of Aviation

Among the earliest and most influential people to emerge in the flight industry was Olive Ann Beech, co-founder of the Beechcraft Aircraft Corporation. Olive Ann led the company as it built iconic planes for civilians and the military, and helped to design important technology for NASA. In her decades of work with Beechcraft, she becameContinue reading “Olive Ann Beech: The First Lady of Aviation”

Fall from an SR-71

In 1966, an SR-71 “Blackbird” disintegrated at 78,000 feet. The pilot’s first thought was “No one could live through what just happened. Therefore, I must be dead.” The History Guy remembers a fall from an SR-71. The History Guy uses media that are in the public domain. As photographs of actual events are sometimes notContinue reading “Fall from an SR-71”

Glenn Curtiss and the Birth of Naval Aviation

110 years ago Glenn Hammond Curtiss, at the time called by the press “the fastest man alive,” ate lunch with the officers of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania. It was a more auspicious event than it sounds, because that lunch represented what some describe as “the birth of naval aviation”

China Airlines Flight 006: February 19, 1985

While flying commercial airlines is a relatively safe way to travel, that does not mean that things cannot go wrong. There might be difficult weather, mechanical problems with the aircraft, or pilot error. Or, for the 274 passengers and crew of China Air Flight 006, February 19, 1985, all of the above. That terrifying timeContinue reading “China Airlines Flight 006: February 19, 1985”

The First Episode of The History Guy podcast

In the first ever History Guy podcast, we remember two stories of forgotten history about Aviation Accidents. First, in 1966, an SR-71 “Blackbird” disintegrated at 78,000 feet. The pilot’s first thought was, “No one could live through what just happened. Therefore, I must be dead.” Second is about a photo op in June 1966, involvingContinue reading “The First Episode of The History Guy podcast”

Lockheed SR-71s of the Baltic Express

The Lockheed SR-71 was one of the most extreme aircraft ever flown. But its extreme engineering also meant that the plane could face operational problems. SR-71s flying reconnaissance flights in the dangerous airspace of the far northwest of the Soviet Union faced mechanical failures and political risks. The dramatic stories of the SR-71s flying theContinue reading “Lockheed SR-71s of the Baltic Express”

Joyride: 1986 Theft of a Marine A-4 Skyhawk

In 1986, a Marine with dreams of becoming a pilot received some bad news. In the early morning hours of July 4, he made an impulsive decision. The History Guy remembers when a Marine ground crewman stole an $18 million military jet fighter.

Friendly Fire: Three Planes That Shot Themselves Down

Fighter aircraft are among the most complex machines in the world, and those who fly them face many risks, including their own weapons. The History Guy recalls three jet fighter aircraft whose own weapons caused their demise.

Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner

Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner came from very different backgrounds, but their lives intertwined at the December 1950 battle of Chosin Reservoir. The History Guy recalls the human side of war as two F4U Corsair pilots struggle for survival during one of the fiercest battles of the Korean war. It is history that deserves toContinue reading “Jesse Brown and Thomas Hudner”