When it comes to life at speed, the higher you get the higher the price. This is true in dollars and in risks. Bob Hoover is not known outside the aviation community the way Chuck Yeager or Buzz Aldrin but within that community he is often referred to as “the pilot’s pilot.” He served as a fighter pilot in World War II and managed to escape a German POW camp by stealing a German aircraft and flying it to safety in the Netherlands.
Things just got more exiting as a worked as a test pilot both in the Air Force and as a civilian. He is famous on the airshow circuit for his aircraft control and trick flying, such as pouring a glass of iced tea from a pitcher while executing a barrel roll, without spilling a drop. Not retiring officially until the 1990’s, Hoover managed a very long career from an era when the dawn of the jet-age was growing through trial and error… the errors often being fatal.
The film draws appearances ranging from famous designers like Carroll Shelby and Burt Rutan to Medal of Honor Recipient Bud Day. Actor Harrison Ford and aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker frame the documentary. Called “the greatest stick and rudder man who ever lived,” Hoover’s story is one worth investigating. The trailer is definitely worth your time, and if it gets your heart racing, then get a copy at www.thebobhooverproject.com
Or for a much longer talk, here is Hoover speaking in 2010. Stories range from bailing out after his ejection seat failed to talking with Charles Lindbergh and Orville Wright (yes, the Wright Brothers):