Lt. Cmdr. Leland “Chip” Shanle made a career as a Navy test pilot, but in his civilian life he had the awesome opportunity to safely crash a 727 for science. Now, he’s on social news site Reddit doing an AMA (ask me anything) and answering anything you want to know about the life and times of an aviator who has had some pretty unique experiences. He talks about crashing a 727, combat missions, fighter jets and more.
Here’s a quick recap of his resume, in his own words:
I flew 16 different naval aircraft in 10 squadrons; including the F-4 Phantom II, EA-6B Prowler and TA-4J Skyhawk. Attached to CAG (Air Wing) 5, 11 and 1. I cruised on the USS Midway, America and Lincoln. I flew 80 missions over the war torn skies of Bosnia, Somalia, and Iraq. An Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructor; I have flown numerous civilian types from the Cessna 150 to the Boeing 767-300. Currently I am rated in 767, 757, 727, MD-80 and Sabreliner series aircraft.
He’s doing the Q&A because a show about a project where a 727 was remotely piloted and crashed for safety research purposes premiers this week.