10 Great Pilots


This was an article that interested me. They were smart enough not to say “Greatest” because any  such list will generate controversy – a lot justified.

Their #1 pick surprised me – but I could certainly concur. Inventor of what we know as instrument flying.

One of the few who raced the Granville Brothers GeeBee racer – and lived to tell about it.

And of course, leader of the Tokyo raid with a plan just as audacious as Admiral Yamamoto.

Who would have thought it could be done?

Some of these pilots down the list were more skillful in the mechanics of flying; others while skillful were noted more for their major contributions to aviation progress.

Many of these names you probably know – a few you might not know.

But a good list.


Filed under Flying

3 responses to “10 Great Pilots

  1. fliterman

    A good list, yes. But I also liked many of the comments to the article mentioning many others worthy, but not on the list.
    Thanks for sharing.
    [PS – I always got a chuckle out of this old quote:
    “If you don’t know who the world’s greatest fighter pilot is…
    It ain’t you!!”]

    • Bill Brandt

      The short few years I was flying I thought – as a discipline – it was a curious mixture of courage and caution. Maybe “courage” isn’t the right term exactly – but you have to be aware of things that can really hurt you – and yet you can’t be so cautious that you never fly.

      Maybe the mastery of “risk management” is the term I’m looking for.

      I remember a scene from the movie The Right Stuff at the bar at Pancho’s Happy Bottom Riding Club – right after Yeager has broken the sound barrier and every hot shot test pilot is coming there.

      “Who is the best pilot here?” someone asks Gordon Cooper’s character.

      Cooper starts to say the obligatory thing…“I…”…then pauses, looks at the wall of pictures of those killed trying to push the envelope, then says “ they are up on that wall

  2. jimc5499

    When I was looking at that list, I remembered that I had met two of the pilots on it, in the same day. I was at the Naval Aviation 75th airshow at Miramar in May of 1984. I met General Yeager when I was looking at the F-20 Tigershark. He was there as part of AC Delco’s display and then about an hour later I met Bob Hoover. He was flying a Turbo Commander in the show.

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