Legendary Bob Hoover Dies At 94

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image: EAA

image: EAA

Bob Hoover, whose extraordinary aviation life included flying in World War II, test-flying for the Air Force and performing a unique airshow act demonstrating the laws of aerodynamics with a twin Shrike Commander, died this morning at age 94. Hoover was widely regarded as "the greatest stick-and-rudder man who ever lived,” as Jimmy Doolittle described him. During his long career, he won a long list of awards and honors, including the National Aeronautic Association's Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, the Living Legends of Aviation Freedom of Flight Award, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Trophy, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the French Croix de Guerre and many more.

“We lost a true, one-of-a-kind aviation hero today," said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. "We all knew of Bob’s incredible aviation career and witnessed his unmatched flying skills. It was Bob Hoover as a person that also made him legendary. He was a true gentleman and unfailingly gracious and generous, as well as a true friend of EAA through the years. We can only hope to use his lifelong example as a pilot and a person as a standard for all of us to achieve.” 

"Bob Hoover has been a source of awe and inspiration," said Ed Bolen, president of NBAA. “He was a national treasure, who was respected and beloved by history’s most significant aviation figures, and the millions who saw his airshow performances or heard him speak ... He was simply the best. Our aviation community has been fortunate to have such an extraordinary person with us for so many decades.”

Mark Baker, president of AOPA, said, "Bob Hoover brought great richness to the aviation experience, and he leaves behind a legacy of heroic caring and sharing with the general aviation community. He will be deeply missed. ... Bob Hoover was so much more than a great pilot. He was a great man and a model for what our community can and should be." 

Other aviation groups expressed similar sentiments throughout the day.

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Comments (4)

The best stick & rudder man that ever lived. R.I.P.

Posted by: Mark Fraser | October 25, 2016 4:57 PM    Report this comment

Aviation loses one of our greatest.

Posted by: Rick Bennett | October 26, 2016 8:17 AM    Report this comment

Tahlequah, Oklahoma......Airshow, and it was Foggy that morning, Bob was supposed to be there, and do his magical mystical stuff....,and I'd finally get to meet him, and shake his hand. Before the fog had lifted, here comes a Shrike Commander on one leg through the muck, and touched down, and flew away just like that...............I remember.........(ceiling maybe 3 to 500 feet).......I hope someone else remembers that Beautiful, Gorgeous, Morning....Thank You Bob..............................Eddie Hunter...

Posted by: Eddie Hunter | October 26, 2016 6:01 PM    Report this comment

What can I say that hasn't already been said? I first saw him at Transpo 72 , and last saw him in about 1996 when he signed his book for me. Always inspirational, always a gentleman. I grieve his loss, but celebrate his long life and countless contributions to flight.

Posted by: Bruce Liddel | October 27, 2016 10:20 AM    Report this comment

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