Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Reporter cites “flux capacitator” as cause of actual plane crash

Illustration for article titled Reporter cites “flux capacitator” as cause of actual plane crashem/em
Screenshot: Back To The Future (YouTube)

Everybody has their pop culture blindspots—those particular TV shows or movies that you just never got around to watching despite their massive cultural imprint. Usually, in those situations, you just hope that your pop culture ignorance doesn’t come out in some embarrassing, highly public fashion. Like, for instance, if you were to proclaim on television that a skydiving plane crash-landed because their fictional time travel technology went haywire.

Earlier this week, Kathryn Burcham of Boston 25 reported on a small plane crash at the Cranland Airport in Hanson, Massachusetts. In the report, she claimed the 20-year-old pilot Jacob Haselden told her the crash was the result of a defective “flux capacitator,” which sounds like a butchering of “flux capacitor” a.k.a. the made-up thing from Back To The Future. While everyone on Twitter was getting a good laugh at Burcham’s expense, some tried to deduce what the pilot may have actually been talking about.


“I am guessing the pilot really said flux gate compass,” one user suggested, building off the assumption that Burcham either misheard Haselden or heard the word “flux” and filled in the rest based on something else she’d heard before. In a later report to 7 News Boston, Haselden made no mention of flux-anything and claimed he had “difficulties with the engine” before being forced to make an emergency landing.

There’s always the chance the 20-year-old pilot was just been messing with Burcham, and wanted to see if he could sneak a movie reference into a news report without anyone noticing. But we’d like to think that Haseleden was telling the truth and the real reason for the crash was that he was attempting to travel back in time, perhaps to the night of his parent’s first date or to some less compelling point in time like, let’s say, the old west.

[via Mashable]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Pay me to write for you, you coward.

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