This weekend was a deadly one for airplane stuntmen, with three incidents around the world resulting in fatalities. Airplane crashes, however gruesome, do make popular YouTube videos.
On August 20th, during the Kansas City Air Show, Bryan Jensen died when his biplane crashed to the ground when he failed to pull out of a dive. In England, Lt Jon Egging crashed his jet into a field during the Royal Air Force’s routine at the Bournemouth Air Festival. Egging’s crash is a mystery; some cite a bird, others noted Egging delayed ejecting at safe altitude in order to steer the jet away from the crowds.
A day later, stuntman Todd Green fell 200 feet while attempting to grab a helicopter’s skid from his perch atop a small airplane during Michigan’s annual air show at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. The cause of death is currently undetermined.
While three airplane stunt deaths in a weekend might seem like much, it is air show season.
Dozens of videos of all three accidents, by news networks and by amateurs, were quickly uploaded on YouTube. Crash videos, some duplicated a number of times, saw at least 100,000 views (and at least one was removed.) Sensitive YouTubers also uploaded tribute videos.
The official YouTube Trends blog made a post of the US-related incidents, noting that both US accidents drew “significant interest on YouTube” and were the top most viewed videos on Monday and Sunday night.
On YouTube’s Politics and News page on Monday, videos of Egging’s crash dominated the first two pages. Either news or amateur footage of Egging’s final flight occupied the 3rd, 5th, 23rd, 31st, 34th, and 38th most viewed videos on Monday evening.
On NWA1503’s five minute tribute video to Todd Green, viewed more than 10,000 times, many YouTubers wrote that they were at that airshow. Most sent well wishes to Green’s family.
Never a bunch to miss an opportunity, trolls and sour apples also came out to weigh in.
Writes FTblogg of the the song in Green’s tribute video, “Angel” by Sarah Mclachlan: “The worst part of this clip is that awful "music", is there anybody out there that actually listen to this kind of earpollution?”
While Jensen has yet to get a tribute video, only snarky comments on clips of news segments -- like samus179’s which makes reference to a video game: “DAMMIT, this is why you always disregard the advice of peppy when he tells you to do a barrel roll! sorry i couldent resist XD” -- there are dozens of tributes for Jon Egging.
One Egging tribute video features a 13 year old guitarist from the UK named James Bell.
Writes MrAmajor7 of Bell’s tribute video and song to Lt Jon Eggings, ”An honorable tribute to an honorable man.”