Ah, the old flux capacitor prank.
Kathryn Burcham with Boston 25 news was reporting live from the scene of a plane crash at Cranland Airport in Hanson, Massachusetts, when it appears she accidentally made a Back to the Future reference. In the clip, Burcham claims that Jacob Haselden, the 20-year-old pilot who crash-landed the plane, told her a “defective flux capacitator” was the possible cause of the crash.
Great Scott! We may have a troll on our hands.
As many of you know, a “flux capacitor” is a component in Doc Brown’s time machine from the Back to the Future franchise. It’s unclear if the plane was a time machine.
While it’s possible that Haselden actually blamed the crash on a fluxgate compass, a magnetic instrument used to help pilots keep their craft level with the earth, it was hard to miss the flub.
I am guessing that the pilot really said flux gate compass (HSI, directional gyro slave etc).
But with my involvement with the press as a volunteer supporting Pickering airport ( see https://t.co/PMtyP60BpA ) I have been amazed by reporters ability to hear what they want to hear.
— Mark (@MarkwBrooks) August 28, 2018
Concerned viewers asked the station on Facebook.
And of course the clip made it to Reddit.
Boston 25 and Burcham did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment or correction, and there’s no mention of the fictional instrument on the story on its website.
According to 7 News Boston, the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash. Haselden was piloting the plane for Go SkyDive Boston, and was the only person aboard when the incident occurred. He escaped with minor injuries.
“We flew up. I had difficulties with the engine. I managed to get everyone out and came back in for a landing, but couldn’t make it,” Haselden told 7 News. “The flipping (of the plane) was me running out of runway. I was coming in too fast due to difficulties with my engine, the flaps, and various plane issues.”
On Friday, another crash occurred at the same airport, injuring one person critically and leaving another dead.