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The Real Reason Crosby Gets So Airsick In Masters Of The Air

Summary

  • Major Harry Crosby is characterized by his airsickness in “Masters of the Air.”
  • Airsickness is a very common problem among new navigators and can lead to performance issues and endanger flight safety in the Air Force, as illustrated by Crosby’s navigation problems.
  • Crosby’s airsickness adds depth to his character and makes him more relatable and enjoyable to watch in “Masters of the Air.”


From the very first episode of Masters of the Air, Major Harry Crosby stands out for being an airsick navigator in the 100th Bombardment Group, and as it turns out, his condition is not as strange as it might originally seem. Masters of the Air is a war drama streaming on Apple TV+ and created by World War II TV pros, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The series explores the experiences of the 100th Bombardment Group, nicknamed the “Bloody Hundredth” for all the losses they sustained in the war. The show stars Austin Butler, Callum Turner, and Anthony Boyle.

In Major Harry Crosby’s early scenes in Masters of the Air episode one, he is characterized by the fact that, despite being a navigator in the B-17’s of the 100th Bombardment Group, he suffers from terrible airsickness. This condition leaves him feeling nauseous while flying, and even leads to vomiting. As a result, Crosby has trouble adapting to his role as navigator, and at his worst, leads his group into serious danger. Although Crosby’s airsickness may seem strange considering his circumstances, it turns out that his struggle is far from uncommon.

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Airsickness Is Extremely Common Among Less Experienced Navigators

Character flying a plane in Masters of the Air

According to a study called Motion sickness susceptibility in student navigators, “Motion sickness among navigation trainees was found to be quite common.” Although the researchers could not figure out what made certain individuals susceptible to airsickness, they did confirm that, among new flyers, airsickness occurred extremely often. This means that Major Harry Crosby’s story in Masters of the Air is not out of the ordinary at all. Considering that he just left his training as a navigator at the start of Masters of the Air, it makes sense that he would not have acclimated to his airsickness yet.

Major Harry Crosby is played by Irish actor, Anthony Boyle.

Furthermore, the problems that Crosby runs into as a result of his airsickness are a genuine problem that still persists in the Air Force. In a journal article entitled Airsickness: Etiology, Treatment, and Clinical Importance—A Review, the author writes that “…the effect of airsickness on military aircrew may lead to a decrement in performance and adversely affect the mission. This is of major importance in the case of flight safety, when a pilot who is incapacitated may endanger the aircraft.” This idea is exemplified by Crosby’s navigation issues in Masters of the Air episode 1.

Harry Crosby’s Airsickness Helps Make Him One Of The Best Parts Of Masters Of The Air

Although Harry Crosby’s airsickness is quite a problem for him and his comrades in the 100th, the detail ultimately makes him a better character. In war dramas like Masters of the Air, it is common to depict characters as being especially brave, selfless, and good at their jobs, and while this is interesting, it does also gloss over the idea of human error and emotion. Therefore, Crosby’s airsickness lets audiences into his more flawed, human side, and as a result, it makes him much more relatable and fun to watch in Masters of the Air.

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