David Cenciotti recently posted some videos on his blog in Italy of a crazy flyover by an Argentine Air Force IA-63 Pampa pilot. In the videos, it looked as though the pilot flew his jet just one meter above the ground in front of a group of guys watching and filming the maneuver.
Commenting about the videos, David himself wrote that the stunt was a sign of poor airmanship in the wake of the leader of the Blue Angels stepping down after a near crash but his views have sparked a debate on his site – often pitting Argentine aviators and readers who feel their pilots are behaving bravely against readers from other countries who feel as David does and that such stunts are a sign of poor airmanship.
David has since written another post where he noted that he has been receiving plenty of links to other videos showing impromptu air shows or stunts – most of them involving Argentinian pilots. One video also showed a 2001 accident involving a T-34 Mentor at the Escuela de Aviación Militar de la Fuerza Aérea Argentina of Cordoba where the formation leader misjudged the position of the left wingman – who ended up hitting the control tower and crashing.
Hence, we want to ask you our readers what you think about these pilots performing these types of stunts or maneuvers: Are they being brave or is this just plain stupid behavior on the part of macho pilots?
Miles Cowan says
How can this question even be asked seriously? I have no idea whether these pilots are brave; there's certainly nothing in these videos to suggest that they are. The videos are unequivocal evidence, however, that these pilots' judgement is critically deficient. I doubt that any of these pilots could fairly be called "stupid" (I'm sure the Argentine air force is perfectly capable of weeding out applicants on that basis), but that only makes the absolute failure of sound decision-making on display here more egregious.
Frank Van Haste says
I don't care for the choice of either "brave" or "stupid". Instead, I'd say "undisciplined"…and that is a fatal flaw (for which their chain of command is largely responsible). They need badly to go read Redefining Airmanship by Dr. Tony Kern, and then start flying like professionals.
(NB: I have no commercial relationship with Dr. Kern. Just an admirer.)
Argentian pilots are the bravest of the brave as evidenced by their preformance during the Falklands War. I salute you!