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Have you ever been to an air show or seen one on television in which an airplane does some spectacular loop-the-loops and other maneuvers or multiple aircraft perform a ballet in the air? If so, those stunts are aerobatics. Even if you have never seen an air show, they are still called aerobatics, but you probably won’t have a good sense of what I’m talking about. Sorry.

What I want to know is who was the crackpot who thought up the concept of aerobatics?

Even when pilots and aircraft straighten up and fly right, as they usually do, they aren’t perfectly safe. I realize that, on a fatality per passenger-mile basis, flying is one of the safest, if not the safest, form of transportation. Thankfully, accidents are rare enough that they don’t keep me from flying, despite me being a major worrier about most other things. Yet, crashes do occasionally happen.

Did someone look at the rarity of crashes and say to himself or herself, “Gee, this flying thing is way too safe. What can we do to make it more dangerous? I know, let’s do a bunch of vertical circles in the air and perform some dangerous maneuvers while flying practically wing-to-wing. Yeah, that’s the ticket!”


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