Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

The greatest ever pilot.

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

The greatest ever pilot.

Old 23rd Nov 2014, 13:36
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: France
Posts: 13
The greatest ever pilot.

Wings on my sleve.

Wings On My Sleeve: The World'S Greatest Test Pilot Tells His Story - Captain Eric Brown - Google Livres
nifty1 is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 14:33
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 78
Posts: 746
Few of us would disagree. I great man still going strong and remarkably modest with it.
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 15:31
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Timbukthree
Posts: 1
The Greatest Ever Pilot? Bob Hoover and Chuck Yeager qualify. Just ask them!
evansb is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 16:48
  #4 (permalink)  

Aviator Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Age: 72
Posts: 2,394
When one looks at Bob Hoover's life and career*, one could make the argument that if he is not the Greatest Ever Pilot, he'd be damn near the number one spot.

As for Yeager, he'll tell you what a great pilot he is, you don't even have to ask.



* Including escaping from a German POW camp during World War Two, stealing a FW-109 and flying it to England.


Come to think about it, Jimmy Doolittle would have been right at the top as well.


One more point about Bob Hoover, I've met Mr. Hoover a few times and a braggart he is not, he always manages to turn the conversation away from about him and to the person he is talking to.
con-pilot is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 17:06
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Chedburgh, Bury St.Edmunds
Age: 77
Posts: 1,106
CONPILOT. I believe the admirable Mr. Hoover flew the stolen 190 to Holland, not England. I have met both Mr. Hoover and Capt. Brown. Both great men in their own right.
JEM60 is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 17:10
  #6 (permalink)  

Aviator Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
Age: 72
Posts: 2,394
CONPILOT. I believe the admirable Mr. Hoover flew the stolen 190 to Holland
Yes, you're correct, old age brain fart.

Thank you!
con-pilot is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 17:59
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,309
I think that Jan Zurokowski of Glosters and Avro Canada and George Neal, retired Chief Test Pilot of D.H. Canada, should be up in the top ten, George by the way was 96 this month and went flying in his beutifull Chipmunk to celibrate , we can only hope our DNA is as good as his!
clunckdriver is offline  
Old 23rd Nov 2014, 18:57
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,676
I wonder if the DNA of such men is the reason that they are still active and lucid at an old age, OR that they lived such inspired and fulfilling lives and that is what keeps them 'young' ?


SHJ
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2014, 08:43
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lixwm,Flintshire
Posts: 257
All of the men mentioned are serious contenders for the title but surely none of them can compare with Biggles
ColinB is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2014, 10:19
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Wales
Posts: 322
The Romanian Constantin Cantacuzino has got to be very high in the running.
Atcham Tower is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2014, 12:28
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: South East.
Posts: 704
Greatest ever pilots

A fascinating question and Winkle Brown is most certainly very high on the list.

However, the other question we should be asking ourselves is not about the chaps that get the headlines because of their position and therefore, by definition, opportunities.

There have been many very good pilots and these fall in to many different categories.

Think of the great pilot leaders there have been (and I for one do not necessarily include Douglas Bader for example)

Think of some of the airline legends, and I don't mean the self-promoting ones !

And, yes, we must include the test pilots. After all, these are the ones who are publicly seen to be at the top of their game.

I had the good fortune to meet Geoffrey Quill in my early days and his words and encouragement had a great deal to do with how I dealt with the tribulations of a professional flying career.
Listening to Peter Twiss in the past, John Cunningham or our own JH has always stimulated me to try harder or to do better. You can't beat listening to what drives such people.

We could then include the example of the record breakers, WW2 Bomber Command stalwarts, decorated fighter pilots. These are the people we all actually hear about.

But I now want to make a call for some of the unheralded; the acknowledged good instructors and mentors, past and present.
These representatives, even the better known ones, are fairly soon forgotten except by their students.
My heroes are the blokes who first tried to instil some understanding of the alien world that was to become my life later on. You know, that leprachaun who sits on your shoulder to this day, stopping you trying something stupid or downright reckless.

Yep, I still remember all my instructors with great affection and eternal gratitude for the attitude they promoted in me to never stop learning and never stop trying.

There are a lot still out there, some up and coming, some in the forefront and some quietly easing out at the end of good careers. All have contributed in their own way in trying to produce a sound, informed and safe new pilot to our more and more over- regulated world.

..Pretty good pilots as well, I think.
Sleeve Wing is offline  
Old 25th Nov 2014, 12:34
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: A place in the sun
Age: 78
Posts: 746
I would also put in a good word for those line pilots who flew day in day out, by night and by day, when zonked out by different time zones and who one never heard about because they always did it right.
Unsung professionals all!
Bergerie1 is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 09:01
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,263
Brown wins the title on number of deck landings in carrier ops. The biggest test.
4Greens is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 09:32
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 1,790
Sleeve Wing

or our own JH
Sorry, but is that a typo for JF ?
spekesoftly is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 09:48
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: OZ
Posts: 945
I think Bergerie 1 is right.

At the dawn of my career I flew with lots of old ex WWII B707 Cpts who just did it and did it extremely well. Nav aids were primitive, an NDB was considered good and a twin locator approach a thing of great joy. The odd ILS was just that, an odd one.

Watching an old pro fly a twin loc into, say, CCU Dum Dum in the monsoon with pi$$ poor vis and make it safe was worthy of great respect, yet that's what we did - no fuss and fanfare, just do the job safely. Remember that the automatics on the B707 were real primitive, no help there.

Those fellows were, in the main, great pilots and they just got on with the job.
mustafagander is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:31
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: London
Posts: 1,263
I joined civil aviation when we still had ex wartime pilots. The regarded Cbs as flack on the way to the target and didn't deviate. You had to be really quick with the seatbelt sign !

PS Speke softly: 'Sleve wing What is with the JH is it JF ??'

Last edited by 4Greens; 26th Nov 2014 at 11:32. Reason: add
4Greens is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 11:44
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: South East.
Posts: 704
spekesoftly.

>>> Sorry, but is that a typo for JF ?<<<

Crikey, yes, ss ! Sorry, John.

Back to the "How to" manual !!
Sleeve Wing is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 13:04
  #18 (permalink)  
Registered User **
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Botswana & Greece
Age: 63
Posts: 940
Very surprised no one has said that they are yet
Exascot is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 13:34
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: There and here
Posts: 1,676
I suppose there are different 'Greatest Pilots', yes those ex-WW2 pilots who survived in one piece and then went onto a long, successful and safe airline career were the epitome of what a consummate professional should be, but the fly by the seat of their pants (with good judgement) pilots that flew fighter aircraft in combat, test pilots, round the world aviators etc will always be seen as different and as more exciting. As pointed out earlier, landing on an Aircraft Carrier in any conditions, let alone in bad weather or night time must leave one at risk of being considered 'great'.


SHJ
SpringHeeledJack is offline  
Old 26th Nov 2014, 15:42
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bucks, UK
Posts: 265
I have no first hand knowledge to rank pilots so wouldn't presume to pick one as the 'greatest' but I do have a vast collection of aviation books, including any I could find on test flying. Any shortlist have to include Eric Brown, Bob Hoover, Alex Henshaw and Neil Armstrong. On reflection, I'm completely awed by anyone who gets to be a test pilot, so you can add Roland Beamont, Neville Duke, Neil Williams and a host of other names to the list...
EyesFront is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.