Yeager suggests it's Crossfield's own fault he was killed in plane crash

Published: Apr. 21, 2006 at 1:49 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 24, 2006 at 2:30 AM EDT
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(Ranger, GA-AP) April 21, 2006 - They were bitter rivals as they beat each other's records as test pilots in the 1950s. And now, after the death of pilot

in the

this week, fellow test-pilot

is getting in some more digs.

Yeager says he's "sure sorry to hear" about Crossfield's death.

But the first man to break the sound barrier says "complacency" seems to have led to the accident. Yeager says Crossfield often flew in bad weather and sometimes "exceeded his capability and got in trouble."

Yeager was the first to pass the speed of sound in 1947. In 1953, Crossfield flew twice that fast, at Mach Two. That didn't sit well with his rival Yeager, who went out and topped him again a few weeks later.

Yeager wrote in his autobiography that Crossfield was "among the most arrogant" pilots he'd ever met.

Crossfield's body was found in wreckage Thursday in mountains about 50 miles from Atlanta. The 84-year-old's single-engine plane dropped off radar with thunderstorms in the area.

Posted 9:41am by Bryce Mursch