Yeager On Crossfield, A Discordant Note

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While tributes to Crossfield and biographies poured in from every corner of aviation (see AVweb's Joe Godfrey's 2001 interview with Scott Crossfield here), one of his peers was suggesting Crossfield was an overconfident pilot whose "complacency" finally did him in. Chuck Yeager told WISTV News that Crossfield would push weather and sometimes "exceeded his capability and got in trouble." And while Yeager, in his autobiography, referred to Crossfield as being among the most arrogant pilots he'd ever met, we can't remember Crossfield offering comment when Yeager's T-6 went off the runway in a routine landing in Georgia in 2003. Yeager, whose 50-year-old speed-record rivalry with Crossfield led to some remarkable achievements for both men, may appear to many as a minority of one in his disparaging comments. You can hear what EAA President Tom Poberezny had to say about Crossfield in AVweb's podcast released last Friday. Perhaps one of the most elaborate remembrances is one put together by NASA. It includes a slide show and video. AOPA President Phil Boyer lauded Crossfield's many accomplishments but also hinted there were lessons to be learned in his death. "And while we don't know yet what caused the accident, it certainly gives us all pause to remember that weather is no respecter of experience or fame," Boyer said.