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Test Pilot Scott Crossfield Killed in Crash


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Test Pilot Scott Crossfield Killed in Crash

by Daniel Yee

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Test Pilot Scott Crossfield

RANGER, Georgia - Scott Crossfield, the hotshot test pilot and aircraft designer who in 1953 became the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound, was killed in the crash of his small plane in the mountains about 50 northwest of Atlanta, authorities said. He was 84.

Crossfield's body was found in the wreckage on Thursday, April 20, a day after the single-engine plane he was flying dropped off radar screens on a flight from Alabama to Virginia. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time. The cause of the crash was under investigation. Crossfield was believed to be the only person aboard.

During the 1950s, Crossfield embodied what came to be called "the right stuff," dueling the better-known Chuck Yeager for supremacy among America's Cold War test pilots. Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947; only weeks after Crossfield reached Mach 2, or twice the speed of sound, Yeager outdid him.

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Scott Crossfield

The Cessna 210A in which Crossfield died was a puny flying machine compared with the rocket-powered aircraft he flew as a test pilot. During his heyday, he routinely climbed into some of the most powerful, most dangerous and most complex pieces of machinery of his time, took them to their performance limits or beyond

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