Captain America May Be the Worst Pilot Among the Avengers, But Who’s the Best?

The superheroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are all-powerful in their own different ways, but not all of them can do everything well. What makes those heroes so compelling is their specialized abilities. For example, the Hulk has super strength but lacks the flexibility of a hero like Black Widow.

Captain America is the leader of the Avengers, but like anyone, he has his own flaws. One of those flaws is that he’s not a great pilot. So if Cap isn’t a great flyer, which one of the Avengers is the best pilot? A recent online discussion centered on answering that very question, and the answer may surprise you. 

Why Captain America is the Avengers’ worst pilot

Chris Evans
Chris Evans | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

In Captain America: The First Avenger, we’re introduced to our hero. We see him fight the evil forces of HYDRA during World War II as well as his journey from scrawny weakling to powerful super-soldier. He almost effortlessly runs through entire platoons. It’s a great showcase for the character. You get to see him at what might be his most powerful. 

At the climax of the film, Cap is forced to take down a HYDRA jet. He crash-lands the plane that according to the MCU wiki is known as the Valkyrie somewhere in Greenland. He isn’t recovered until nearly 70 years later, frozen in ice, surviving in no small part due to the serum coursing through his veins. 

While no one can fault the man for his heroics, it does show that his piloting skills leave something to be desired. He wasn’t able to successfully land the plane. So which members of the Avengers could fly? 

Which Avengers are better pilots than Captain America?

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Just because their leader isn’t able to fly a plane well doesn’t mean some of his teammates can’t. Here are the Avengers who can actually fly a bit better than their leader: 

  • Black Widow. At multiple points throughout the Avengers movies, Black Widow pilots the Avengers quinjet. 
  • Iron Man. Tony Stark doesn’t just pilot his own suit of armor, he also designs incredibly complex AI systems that fly jets for him. In Captain America: Civil War, we see him riding in a plane that pilots itself. 
  • War Machine. Tony’s buddy James Rhodes has his own iron suit he pilots with ease on multiple occasions. 
  • Falcon. Much like Iron Man and War Machine, Sam Wilson has also shown some solid flying ability, even if he is aided by technology to do it. 

While all of those Avengers have shown a propensity for flying, other than Black Widow they all do it using state-of-the-art suits. Which one of the Avengers has shown the best flying ability in a plane or jet? The answer is one of the most unheralded Avengers: Hawkeye. 

Who is the best pilot among the Avengers? 

A recent Reddit thread made a compelling argument for Hawkeye as the best pilot among the Avengers. In 2012’s The Avengers, he pilots the quinjet through New York City. Read that again — through New York City, not above it. Navigating through New York’s multiple buildings in a flying machine is no small feat.

Another poster points out that he also shows great flying ability behind the wheel in Age of Ultron. 

The bottom line is that Hawkeye doesn’t often get as much credit as some of the other more powerful Avengers. But give the man his due here: he’s a great pilot. It’s a safe bet that Captain America would have liked to have Hawkeye by his side when his plane went down during World War II.