Charles Darwin at a green chalkboard.

2000 Darwin Awards

Honoring Charles Darwin, the father of evolution, Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool--by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible.

High on Grass
2000 Darwin Award Winner
Confirmed True by Darwin

(30 September 2000, New Mexico) A father-and-son team hired to mow the grass at the Tucumcari Municipal Airport decided that their skills with the lawnmower would suffice for a joyride in an airplane. Although neither was a certified pilot, or indeed even a student pilot, they managed to taxi the private two-seater to the fueling facility, fill the tanks, and taxi to the runway, where they commenced a takeoff.

That's when their luck ran out.

Fifty meters above the ground, the plane began to wobble, then entered a vertical dive and collided with the grass. The older man was found dead inside the flaming aircraft. The younger one managed to escape from the mangled machine before it was engulfed in flames, but subsequently died in the hospital.

The men serve as examples that training and a license may not be needed to mow the lawn, but are necessary requirements for flying a plane.

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Submitted by: Bob Parkins, Harold, Tom Rudd
Reference: ID#DEN00FA183

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