This video, which is blowing up the Internet, and understandably so, is putting comedian Jay Leno on the hot seat, at least of public opinion. It has been shared by dozens of mainstream sites and was shot from the flight deck of a gorgeous Grumman Albatross. It shows Leno emerging from the nose of the plane as it flies low along the cliff faces of Catalina Island, off the coast of Southern California.
After he emerges, Leno, who appears to be unharnessed, clowns around a bit and then proceeds to act as though he’s going to crawl along the nose of the plane toward the windscreen. He doesn’t of course, or else the story would be about comedian Jay Leno’s tragic demise.
The video is getting lots of laughs from shows from TMZ to Today, but from an aviation perspective, it’s troubling, and if the pilots were in on the stunt, and there’s no indication that they were, it might be an issue for them with the FAA. From Leno’s (and the rest of the plane’s occupants’) perspective, it’s even more troubling. Is the hatch certified to be opened in fight? While the wind rushing kept Leno from falling forward, it didn’t necessarily protect him from getting blown backward. And if he had been, it could have ended badly not just for him but for everybody aboard.
We give this video two thumbs down.