Anyone who knows anything about aviation knows who Bob Hoover was. One of the greatest pilots who ever lived, Hoover was born on January 24, 1922 and died on October 25, 2016.

Watch the Bob Hoover Memorial Flyover on 18 November 2016

Participating in the flyover;

  • Two F-16s from the USAF Thunderbirds in formation with one Tutor from the Canadian Air Force Snowbirds and a T-39 Sabreliner
  • F-22 bracketed by two F-86 Sabres
  • Missing-man formation with Bob Hoover’s own Old Yeller P-51 Mustang peeling away from the formation

It might be hard to say what Bob was most famous for. He was an accomplished air show pilot, a US Air Force test pilot and also a combat fighter pilot who got shot down in World War II and spent 16 months as a POW. To make his story of being a German POW even more intriguing he actually escaped the prison camp, stole a German airplane and flew to safety in a friendly country.

Bob later called his escape stealing a German airplane stupid. He said that while flying a German marked aircraft into allied territory he thought to himself, “You are the dumbest aviator that ever flew. What the hell are you accomplishing?” Aviation legend was born early with Bob Hoover.

Hoover was there on Chuck Yeager’s wing as his chase and backup pilot when Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1947.

He later gained fame as an airshow pilot flying a North American P-51 Mustang named “Ole Yeller” and an Aero Commander. In the Aero Commander he would amaze the crowd performing a loop and a barrel roll after he turned off both engines. After completing the two maneuvers he would then land and taxi up to the ramp, parking perfectly in the marked space. All with no engine power!