Calling all Fools

August 13, 2014 by Bruce Landsberg

A friend who flies aerobatic aircraft and posts videos occasionally received this spam email, which has been lightly edited to preserve the innocence (or not) of the author.

My name is XXXX and I am a senior at college working on a start-up called ‘Hold My Beer and Watch This’ (not the real name), which seeks to become the ‘Kick Starter for Challenges.’ We are trying to solve a huge problem that you know first-hand: YouTube daredevils aren’t getting paid enough by the platform to produce quality, viral content. 

Through HMB&WT you can crowdfund money from your fans to complete a task or stunt. The money can go wherever you like: into your own pocket, toward charity, covering the cost of the challenge, or even a combination of all three. However, backers don’t get charged until you post a video of a successfully completed challenge—creating an exciting viewing experience for your fans.

Given your reputation for extreme videos and your strong fanbase, we thought you’d be a perfect fit to join as one of our “Pilot Catastrophes”—a select group of celebrities, athletes, and YouTube stars who HMB&WT will feature during launch…”

Living under my rock, I didn’t realize the gene pool had gotten quite so shallow and that we were all so starved for watching idiots do dumb things.

In a recent media interview the reporter asked if GA flying needed additional regulation to prevent accidents. My predictable response was that the regulations are in place for a legal response if someone is caught before a fatal outcome, where gravity always wins. We expend great energy to help people assess risk and avoid becoming a “Pilot Catastrophe” for the viewing enjoyment of the masses. Just take a look at the free aviation safety education programs available from the Air Safety Institute, including ASI’s “Do The Right Thing: Decision Making for Pilots” online course. 

Controlling the two percent that insist on thrills or utility at the cost of their lives or that of others has never been accomplished in any form of personal transportation—DoofTube proves it.

Pilots don’t try this at home or any place else…

Bruce Landsberg
Senior Safety Advisor, Air Safety Institute

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  • Chris Rodrigues

    Bruce, I feel your pain. Unfortunately, the latent human gene which was apparently uncovered just prior to the television show “That’s incredible” has had a tragic impact on a number of activities, including flying. I suppose you are right; training, and other preparation plus commonsense is the answer for 98% of us and aggressive enforcement by government oversight agencies should cover the other 2%.

  • Bruce Landsberg


    I knew TV had to be involved somehow – but hadn’t made the connection. It all makes perfect sense now. Regarding the Gov’t enforcement – on of my favorite quote by Will Rogers is that ” It’s good we don’t get all the government we pay for.” But I think we’re still getting way too much incertain araes!

  • Rationalist

    There will always be those who make Dumb & Dumber look like Einstein & Edison…