Sometimes accompanied with hand gestures and sound effects of a crashing, burning airplane.
She tried to tell a witty joke at the dinner party but her mother-in-law was actually born in Ireland so it crashed and burned.
Airplane pilot slang, dating back before WWI, but still in use.
Severeal things were considered unlucky, like having one's picture taken in the cockpit, or to be wished 'Good luck' before takeoff. As pilots are strong believers in Murphy's law (things never go as you want them to), this would most likely lead to disaster. Therefore, the natural way of wishing good luck on somebody, would be to call the worst possible thing down on their heads.
It is similar to the Luftwaffe's "hals und beinbruch" ("Break neck and legs") or the German Navy's "Mast- und Stengebruch" ("Break masts and yards"), or when actor's wish each other "Break a leg" before they go on stage.
"So you got yourself a mahogany Spitfire? Doing bumph? Well, crash and burn, old chap!" ("So you got a ground job at a desk, filling out papers? (presumably away from the front line) Good luck, mate!")
"You finally got a date with her? Well, Crash and burn!"
Commonly used to see who has the most balls in the group of friends. Title relates to when you get to see your friend crash and burn after asking the girl.
Guy:...i'm going to crash and burn.
"A simple error like using = instead of == can cause a C program to crash and burn."
"The poorly written driver caused the system to crash and burn with a pretty display of random colors."