Back in 2008 I remember some ill-intentioned articles about McCain's military record, that everything he got was because of his father and grandfather, that he was a lousy and reckless pilot who rarely bothered training, that his time as POW wasn't as heroic as we've been told... Etc.
Leaving aside hyper-partisan sources from either side (who likes McCain anyway?), how much of this is true?
Two aircraft incidents were not his fault, the Forrestal fire and losing engine power in a T-2 trainer flying between Norfolk and Philadelphia causing him to bail out. Then there are two which were pilot error. The first was when he crashed an AD-6 into the water during landing practice at NAS Corpus Christi. He claimed the engine quit. The aircraft was recovered from the water, the engine started and found to be serviceable. It was also noted that a power setting was set too low to maintain enough power for flight.
The second incident occurred in Spain where McCain admitted to "daredevil clowning." What he did was fly his A-1 between two pylons and under electrical wires the consequence of which was to cut those wires and cause a blackout in that part of Spain. He also admitted to not following proper procedures the consequence of which was he and his A-4 being shot down. There is some discrepancy about what exactly shot him down, he says SAM, other pilots said ground fire. In either case, McCain admits to being at fault for his shoot down. He says he ignored a SAM warning, his squadron mates said he flew too low. Again, either way, he admits to having screwed up.
Edited by DKTanker, 14 December 2017 - 2103 PM.