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Chuck Yeager: I Got Screwed by Virgin

12/30/2009 11:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

General Chuck Yeager -- the first pilot to fly faster than the speed of sound -- is pissed off at an airline company that compared his death-defying accomplishment to in-flight Internet service.

Yeager filed a lawsuit against Virgin America, claiming he never gave them permission to use his name in a press release which stated, "Not unlike Buzz Aldrin or Chuck Yeager, you have the opportunity to be a part of a monumental moment in air travel. The communication highway now has wings with in-flight WiFi at every seat on every Virgin America flight..."

In the suit, filed yesterday in San Francisco County Superior Court, Yeager claims even if he did allow his name to be used -- he would require "a substantial sum."

Gen. Yeager is suing for unspecified damages -- but the coolest part of the suit mentions an event in October in which the 86-year-old icon flew "an F-16 aircraft at the speed of Mach 1.6, breaking the sound barrier once again."

Pretty badass.

UPDATE: A rep for Virgin America tells TMZ, "We regret the incident and plan to try and resolve this issue with General Yeager's attorneys."


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13. @MightyMad - Mixed up the names when typing but doesn't change my position in the least. Nitpicking comments when it's pretty obvious what the article was about gives some insight into why you chose that name.

Posted at 11:19AM on Dec 30th 2009 by matt

... Which means what exactly?

It's pretty obvious, as you said, what the article was about... IF YOU READ IT PROPERLY. And how the hell do you manage to mix Chuck Yeager with Buzz Aldrin? Their names don't even sound the same, plus Yeager was mentioned ON THE DAMN TITLE!

'Just saying...

1759 days ago


You go, General Yeager!!!!

John, I respectfully disagree with you. The "press release" is an advertisement.

1759 days ago


Yeager is a complete a**hole and one of the rudest people I interviewed over the course of a nearly 20 year career in television news. He needs to shut it.

1759 days ago


Yeager sucks. Ego!!! Scott Crossfield is the man. Real test pilots are well rounded with colege degree.

1759 days ago


My new ad campaign for Virgin..."Flying with us is like being in the arms of Jesus, a jacuzzi with Elvis or in bed with Errol Flynn..."(I picked an oldie so they could not sue, but you can substitute "in bed with Viggo Mortenson, or Brad Pitt...)

1759 days ago


I'm offended that the idiots who came up with this advertising scheme could possibly equate WiFi on an airplane with Yeager's accomplishments. I also think it was really shabby that they use his name without compensating him. I totally support Yeager's lawsuit.

1759 days ago


Hey Daniel, why do you expect people you interview to be nice to you? Maybe you irritated him.

1759 days ago


I live in the area where Chuck Yeager resides, and he is a complete egotistical @$$hole. This lawsuit just goes to further prove that.

1759 days ago


He has a reason to have an ego. He's done some very great things.

1759 days ago


Good for Chuck, Go Gettem!

1759 days ago


He has always been my hero! Read the book about him--carried a wounded soldier through the mountains, he IS a badass!

1759 days ago

Elvis Twin    

I thought you said he got screwed by a virgin.

I think the sonic booms and tang are messing with him.

1759 days ago


Chuck Yeager is racist, sexist and now a money grubbing whore. Being an AF vet myself, I'm ashamed to share the same uniform as him. I HATED being stationed at Edwards, where they worship the ground he walks on.

BTW - he ret'd as a colonel and was given general later on... he's such a little bitch.

A substantial amount of money - WHAT A JACKASS!!!

1759 days ago


"The use of his name is being used in the form of an editorial purpose, not commercial. It's in the same context as historians would use it when referring to his accomplishments."

I don't see it being used for an editorial purpose at all. It's an advertisement for an airline company. The purpose for the advertisement to get people to fly Virgin airlines therefor it is a commercial. They didn't receive his permission to use his name in their advertising so they should be held accountable.

And as for the person who said that Chuck Yeager is a "Complete A-Hole" I think with his accomplishments at the time he deserves the right to a certain extent. Besides, if you didn't work with him or know him personally you're statement is just that, a Statement and not a fact.

Chuck Yeager is a National Hero!

1759 days ago


I would like to know if the event in October that is referred to in the papers is the Edwards Air Show. If so, Gen Yeager did not pilot but was a passenger in the F-16.

1759 days ago
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