Bob Hoover’s requiem
Long time contributor and aviation expert Charles “Chuck” Stanley forwarded this video link on Vimeo showing a handful of flyovers set to orchestral music hoping the life of Bob Hoover—it is a marvelous minute.
Bob Hoover piloting is legendary and can hardly be addressed here. His life is marked by an escape from a WW II German prison camp to high speed crashes and everything in between. His episodes of aircraft he was piloting not crashing are equally incredible.
I witnessed one of his famed aerobatic routines in a Grumman Aero Commander (or Shrike Commander). The routine was extraordinary when flown with both engines; incredible when flown on a single engine; and outstanding when flown without engines. Yes, seeing the aerobatics occur in near silence (just a bit of whooshing every now and then) then to watch him land and taxi to the start-up point without power was nothing less than outstanding—as magical as a mother’s radar as well as a dog’s ability to follow an invisible trail. Pilots learn of energy management. Bob Hoover mastered it.