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Pilot intentionally crashes his plane in Alabama – amazing archival film.

We ran across this amazing old film and could not find out more about it. The pilot’s name appears to be Blaine and it looks like the film was made around the 1930s  or 1940s.

I can’t imagine why he wanted to fly his plane into the ground as  a stunt.  Please share any information you may have about the pilot in the comments below.

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Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and All her books can be purchased at and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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  1. Late 20’s early 30’s

    1. I didn’t know you were flying back then.

  2. Probably a movie stunt. Plane crashes were quiet the thing in movie’s back in the day. Like car crashes. Stagecoaches, wagons.

  3. First picture with sound was The Jazz Singer in 1927, so this would not pre-date that. I would guess early ’30s. It’s an older plane…why would he crash a new one (ha ha)??

  4. “As one crash artist to another, good luck to you.” These were basically stunt men. He probably did this to get the footage to use in movie reels. The pilot may have even used the footage to score additional jobs in the future. I know that stunt pilots were a thing very early on from seeing the made-for-tv movie about Pancho Barnes.

  5. Looks like a Curtis JN 4, Jenny airplane used by a lot of barn stormers

  6. It was more than likely filmed as a way to convince people that travel by plane was relatively safe. remember airplane fight was something relatively new at that time, many people were scared to try it. So if the Talkies (movies) showed how you could walk away from a crash, more people would be prone to fly.

  7. I vaguely recall having heard of such a performance at a fair in Birmingham, Alabama in the late twenties or early thirties. I think it was a stunt performed for monetary compensation.

    There was a pilot, Dick Grace who deliberately, “crunched” airplanes for compensation and performed for Howard Hughes production, “Dawn Patrol” in Hollywood. He was known for his performance of accidents. My father, G. D. “Mac” McKenzie used to speak of him in dissertations to customers in his welding shop in Evergreen. My father, “barnstormed” in south Mississippi and southern Alabama. He held Commercial Pilot Certificate #24031 and lived in Evergreen, Alabama from February, 1939 until his death on February 1981.

  8. Don’t you love that good ole South Alabama accent the questioning man had! “You mean you gon take this ole buheed up’n crash huh?” (“this ole bird up and crash her?”) I’ve already bragged about LA food and the good lookn’ women of Coffee County, but if I
    could find one that had that accent as well, that’d be a little bit o’heaven on Uheeth! (Earth) Might even marry again!

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