Crash of one of the aircraft in this film
1 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Although many people will naturally think the claim that Britain broke the sound barrier before the Americans is its most obvious flaw, the really serious mistake in this film is the death of Denholm Elliott as a student pilot whilst making his first solo. The aircraft concerned was a De Havilland Tiger Moth. Not only is this easier to fly than any modern light aircraft, but no student pilot in history - to my knowledge - has ever died on a first solo, and certainly not in a Tiger Moth! No aircraft could possibly be more pleasant to fly, as any ex-Tiger pilot will tell you...

If you want proof of this, shortly before he died, I spoke to John Justin, who played the pilot who broke the sound barrier in this film. He told me that he learned to fly in Argentina aged 12. He was taught on a Moth, and his instructor wanted to send him solo. However, the authorities found out he was only 12, and refused permission...

I hope readers enjoy this anecdote!

Paul Murphy (ex Tiger Moth pilot).
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