CAR SURFING MAKES AIRMAN HOWL
By Robbie Bogard, Air Education and Training Command Ground Safety Division
/ Published June 06, 2012
Air Education and Training Command -- In the 1988 movie "Teen Wolf," Michael J. Fox popularized "car surfing" -- standing on the top of a van in a surfer's stance while his friend drove him through the town howling at the top of his lungs.
While this activity looked fun and exciting on screen, it didn't translate as well to real life. According to the Center for Disease Control, nearly 100 people died or sustained serious injuries as a result of car surfing from 1990 to 2008.
A recent Air Force mishap illustrated that point. While Airmen involved in this mishap didn't appear to intentionally try to car surf, it still demonstrates the dangers of horseplay while operating nearly two tons of steel.
As two Airmen were getting in a car, the driver decided to have a bit of fun. He locked the doors and "gunned" the gas.
After the third time, the spurned Airman decided he'd had enough "fun." He jumped on the roof of the car.
But this only encouraged his "friend" to drive faster. The Airman held on for about 125 feet, "howling" at the driver to slow down. Laughing, the driver looked into his rearview mirror just in time to see his wingman bounce off asphalt.
Suddenly, the horseplay wasn't nearly so funny.
A helicopter medevaced the injured Airman to a critical care unit. He sustained multiple head injuries to include a 5.5-inch cranial fracture (starting from the lower rear of the skull and ending above his right ear), bleeding in both frontal lobes, a ruptured right eardrum, and short-term memory impairment. He faced a long-term treatment plan to eventually return him to unrestricted duty.
Fortunately he survived, but Teen Wolf he was not.