September 2000 Issue

Crazy Stunts

Low-altitude loops and rolls, high speed passes – what are these guys thinking?

Several years ago, two active-duty Air Force pilots (one an instructor) rented a Cessna 172 in Del Rio, Texas, so they could take their dates for a flight. The two pilots sat up front with two passengers in the back seat and a heavy load of fuel in the wings. (In case you’re thinking ahead, the aircraft was 323 pounds over its maximum allowable gross weight and 3.1 inches beyond its allowable aft C.G. limit.)

They took off and proceeded to perform aerobatic maneuvers at very low altitudes while also buzzing boats on the nearby lake. They performed at least one complete aileron roll, abrupt pull-ups, very abrupt level-offs at low altitude and hammerhead type turns.

The last maneuver w...

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