Talk:1974 White House helicopter incident

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Featured article1974 White House helicopter incident is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on May 8, 2020.
Did You KnowOn this day... Article milestones
December 6, 2009Articles for deletionKept
June 7, 2019Good article nomineeListed
February 14, 2020WikiProject A-class reviewApproved
March 28, 2020Featured article candidatePromoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on July 16, 2019.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that in 1974, a United States Army private first class stole a helicopter and landed it on the White House lawn?
On this day... Facts from this article were featured on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "On this day..." column on February 17, 2019, and February 17, 2020.
Current status: Featured article

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as stub, and the rating on other projects was brought up to Stub class. BetacommandBot 16:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ronald Reagan National Airport[edit]

From: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport "For decades it was called Washington National Airport before being renamed to honor President Ronald Reagan in 1998." Should the article mention this or use "Washington National Airport" instead, as the naming for President Reagan came 24 years later? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:16, 22 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes i think so! Added the historical name. kind regards, Saschaporsche (talk) 09:28, 22 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]


What happened to Preston? Drutt (talk) 18:13, 26 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In a plea bargain, he pled guilty to "wrongful appropriation and breach of the peace," and was sentenced to 1 year in prison and fined $2,400. This amounted to a six-month sentence, since he had already been in prison for six months at the time. (Source: New York Times, Aug 27, 1974, p. 20 and Aug 30, 1974, p. 10.) I didn't find any other follow-up beyond that. Mahousu (talk) 02:57, 22 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That should be added to the article. Kingturtle = (talk) 03:23, 22 February 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This month's issue of Air & Space says he died of cancer in 2009... Check-Six (talk) 00:59, 26 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
He was charged with "wrongful appropriation " because stealing or theft requires the person to intend to keep the taken item. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:04, 17 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Digitally recreated' image in info box[edit]

I have some serious reservations about using a "digitally recreated" image in the info box, or any where on the page, even with a disclaimer stating its false nature. It seems disingenuous to use a faked image to portray the events in an encyclopedia. If no fair use image of the actual event can be found or used, then an image of Preston, a Huey, or the White House's south lawn would serve as a reasonable substitute. --Mikaka (talk) 22:22, 27 February 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I had doubts about using the image, and since you raised this issue, I've change it to a more generic Bell UH-1 image. L293D ( • ) 20:18, 8 March 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moved from user talk[edit]

Simply because it has a source is not sufficient reason for inclusion - see WP:NOTNEWS, among others. Also, Wikipedia:Relevance of content seems to summarise this situation particularly well: "Some people are only famous for their connection to notable events, without having any fame beyond those events. As such, they are not public figures, and details of their personal lives are not relevant to what has made them of encyclopedic interest." As I said, in this case, details of personal life are not relevant to the helicopter saga. (talk) 19:50, 18 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree. The modest degree of information present is reasonable on a biography, which this article is. -- (talk) 22:07, 18 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This article is, very clearly should I say, not a biography. The main subject is the helicopter incident, and Preston's life is hardly relevant to it, except maybe for the basic (necessary) background given. (talk) 16:36, 19 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I disagree. The article describes the reason for Preston's fame, includes information about his earlier life, and should also include information on his later life. Pixels are cheap and readers will want this information. -- (talk) 16:53, 20 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But is the article about the one event which made him famous or about Preston? As I said, a background is necessary. However, his life after the events is not relevant, and even if you think it's interesting, that's just your opinion. What matters here is whether what happened after is relevant. In this case, it reads more like details about Preston's private life that would not otherwise be covered since they're not relevant to the one event that has made him famous. Again, see Wikipedia:Relevance of content, particularly the following:
A short account of Preston's life before the incident is very clearly a "factor that influenced [this]". His marriage and his death are disparate facts and have not influenced the outcome of this in any way (particularly since they came years after the incident...). (talk) 18:15, 20 July 2019 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'Controller' to 'air traffic controller'[edit]

"At 12:56 a.m., a controller at the Washington National Airport noticed a blip on his radar scope;"

changed to

"At 12:56 a.m., an air traffic controller at Washington National Airport noticed a blip on his radar scope;"

Changing 'controller' to 'air traffic controller' w/ link at its first mention. Also removing 'the' in front of the named airport. Thoughts? ~City (talk) 12:51, 29 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, good idea. L293D ( • ) 13:53, 29 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The photo selection in this article could use improvement, particularly in removing extraneous ones. A picture of the actual Huey used appears in the article body, so clearly photos of it are available. Why, then, does the infobox bother with a picture of a "similar" helicopter? Surely there are pix of JetRangers more closely related to this incident than a Los Angeles machine. --Piledhigheranddeeper (talk) 15:51, 8 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Piledhigheranddeeper: because one photo is used doesn't mean there are better public domain images available. There are several images that could be way better and relevant than the current one, but unfortunately they're not freely licensed. I did review all the commons images for hueys, and this is the best one I got. At the air&Space article that I use as a reference in the article, they have several high-resolution images. Do you think I could claim fair use on one of them? If there's consensus for that, it would be great. The picture of the actual helicopter was free, because it was taken by the FAA, a US gov organisation, but I thought the angle wasn't great. L293D ( • ) 16:06, 8 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]