LTG Frank M Andrews and Maj Gen Robert Worley both died while piloting combat aircraft in a war.

  1. I'm assuming that generals and admirals are less skilled or prepared to pilot aircraft, as their primary duty is management and leadership, not flying.

  2. Thus GFOs probably ought not be allowed to pilot, but please see the question in the title.

  3. What other GFOs of NATO Rank OF-6 or higher died, while piloting in a war?

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    According to your link, LTG Frank M Andrews was well away from any combat area, and pretty much had to be on board an aeroplane regardless. – user31561 Feb 7 '19 at 12:39
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    Andrews did not die in a combat flight. As for the general question: Generals were often piloting up to a few years ago, and quite possibly they miss it very much. If he is still in reasonable shape, shows up and asks for a plane, are his subordinates going to stop him? In Andrews case, even easier, it was just a passenger transport flight, which ended in a crash. – Luiz Feb 7 '19 at 12:42
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    You should also realize that if you are piloting at all, you are some level of officer. – T.E.D. Feb 7 '19 at 13:21
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    @T.E.D.: In the RCAF during WW2, 1/2 of those receiving their wings did so as pilot sergeants.and not commissioned officers. – Pieter Geerkens Feb 7 '19 at 14:29
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    I believe that pilots are required to fly a minimum number of hours to maintain their certification; most of the pilots I know work hard to maintain that cert (it is evidence that they are superhuman and almost as important as they think they are.). Your first assumption is in radical tension with everything I know about pilots and military certifications; your second assumption is therefore on very weak ground. "probably ought" is a judgemental term that is not supported by evidence. – Mark C. Wallace Feb 7 '19 at 14:53

There are two types of people who make it to general.

The first type consists of officers who are personally outstanding in combat. On their way up the ranks, they were so good at shooting down enemy, that when they were given the job of training and leading other men, these subordinates also excelled at personal combat. In their cases, they are among the best "soldiers" in their unit, in addition to being generals. An example in the Army was General William Dean of the Korean War, who personally wielded a bazooka during a battle. (I'm using army officers, since I know them better than air force officers.)

McAndrews and Worley were both this type of general. Yes, they were tasked with "planning" the operations of others, but for such men to do this job, they have to go out to the actual battlefield to get the "look" and "feel" of it for themselves. If that's what they need to do in order to "lead," most of them are given permission to do so. (Consider the size and ranks of the "entourage" that went down with McAndrews.)

The second type consists of officers who aren't so combative or good in the field, but excel at staffing, planning and similar functions. Among army officers, George Patton was the first type of general, and Mark Clark was the second type.

During World War II, there was a Soviet air marshal Alexander Pokryshin who got there by being an "ace" pilot. Only a few aces make it all the way to general, and the ones that do train or induce others to do what they do, successfully. In Pokryshin's case, he basically "re-vamped" Soviet air tactics to make them competitive with the Germans. To do what he did, he had to personally lead others in combat and "learn" (second hand) from their mistakes.

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