Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain’s Navy Air Mishaps

...The second occurred two years later. McCain had completed flight training and was deployed to the Mediterranean. “He was flying low one day when he decided to have some fun,” Leahy wrote. He dropped so low that he knocked down power lines over southern Spain, cutting off electricity in the area. McCain later referred to his own behavior as “daredevil clowning” and said he had created “a small international incident.”

The third came in 1965. McCain, stationed at Norfolk, flew solo in a Navy trainer plane to the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia. On the way back his engine quit. McCain ejected, landed safely and the plane crashed into a wooded area.

Leahy wrote that McCain had a “desultory performance” in the air. On the face of it, the incident in Spain stands out as an example of rash, poor judgment. The other two also raise questions. How much was a problem with the equipment, how much was pilot error? What about McCain’s responses: What do they tell us about his temperament?

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