Aerobatic Pioneer Dies

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Duane Cole, one of the pioneers of modern aerobatic competition and the air shows that give it an audience, has died at the age of 89. Cole died of natural causes at his home in Burleson, Texas. Cole spent his whole life in aerobatics and air shows and wrote nine books on the subject. Wayne Handley, who legitimately wears the mantle of aerobatic legend himself, said Cole was, "A giant. He had a very profound effect on the aerobatic world," said handley. "He loved aerobatics saw their value and preached the gospel of safety." Cole has a special place in the hearts of EAA members. He was the 48th member after he got his certificate in 1938. He became an instructor two years later. He performed in most AirVenture air shows until he lost his medical 10 years ago. Cole earned numerous awards, including National Aerobatics Championships in 1962 and 1964. He is survived by his wife, Judy, who performed as his wing rider, as well as their son and daughter. The funeral is on Sunday in Burleson.