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Archive for Friday, April 21, 2006

Noted test pilot killed in small-plane crash

April 21, 2006

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— Legendary test pilot Scott Crossfield, the first man to fly at twice the speed of sound, was found dead Thursday in the wreckage of a single-engine plane in the mountains of northern Georgia, authorities said.

Searchers discovered the wreckage about 1 p.m. near Ranger, 50 miles northwest of Atlanta. The Civil Air Patrol identified the victim as Crossfield, 84.

There were thunderstorms in the area Wednesday morning when air traffic monitors lost radio and radar contact with Crossfield's Cessna 210A, said Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

In the early 1950s, Crossfield was one of a group of civilian pilots assembled by the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics, the forerunner of NASA.

In 1960, Crossfield reached Mach 2.97 in an X-15 rocket plane launched from a B-52 bomber.

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