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December 14, 1918


Author Affiliations

(Philadelphia) Major, M. C., U. S. Army; (St. Louis) Captain, M. C., U. S. Army MINEOLA, L. I., N. Y.

From the Department of Otology, Medical Research Laboratory, Hazelhurst Field, Mineola.

JAMA. 1918;71(24):1977-1980. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.26020500003006a

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Crashes that occur during "stunt" flying are usually the result of something having gone wrong with the pilot. Hence, it is a pertinent matter for medical investigation. Just what this something is, is not always clear. Poor judgment, a sense of bravado, carelessness, "stunting" at low altitudes, and sudden faintness are among the reasons generally offered in explanation of these accidents. Direct testimony of the pilot is not always available, since many of the crashes result fatally. Neither are pilots who have crashed and survived always able to give a clear and concise account or analysis of the causes of the accident.

Underlying them all, however, there runs a story of momentary loss of faculties, resulting in a manipulation of controls without deliberate judgment. Most accounts of crashes read, "The pilot went into a tail spin and failed to come out." The story of Lieut. J. M. M. is quite

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