Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bob Hoover has left us and went on ahead. 1922-2016

One of the greatest pilots that ever lived.

Bob Hoover, a former Air Force test pilot, a World War II fighter pilot, and the only man the FAA should never have screwed with, and they learned their lesson.

In his life, Hoover met Orville Wright, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, Jacqueline Cochran, and Neil Armstrong, spanning the golden age of flight.

Coolest story I know about Bob:


  1. I had the honor of meeting Bob way back in 1977 when I was worked on the flightline at a local FBO. He stopped for fuel en route to an airshow. He was acquainted with the owner of the FBO, so he hung around and shook hands and visited a while. During the visit I, of course, introduced myself and because he was Bob Hoover, I made sure the windshield of his Shrike was extra clean, and everything was perfect.
    Fast forward four years and I'm at an Airshow in a neighboring town. Bob was scheduled to perform with both the Shrike and his P-51 Mustang. As I was walking down the flight line with wife and daughter in tow, I see Bob talking to 3 or 4 people that were gathered around. He spotted me and waved. Then he totally surprised me by walking over and shaking my hand and he remembered not only my name, but where I worked.
    As an Aviator, a war hero, and as a man, he was in a class by himself. The world is a little bit emptier now that he no longer walks among us.

    1. I did not have the good fortune to meet him, you are a lucky guy! I only learned of him a couple months ago as I was going through WW2 warbirds and nose art. But this planet is steadily losing incredible people and no one is stepping up to maintain the level of cool people vs the overwhelming number of sheep and miserable politicians

    2. thanks for the story!

  2. Watching him put a Shrike Commander through maneuvers that it was never meant to do was beyond description. 16 point rolls, inverted loops, he would even do a power off approach touch on one main gear roll over to touch on the other, then start the engines up and take off again. On a 5K foot runway with plenty of space left over.
    And the P-51? I thought he was going to turn it inside out!