I’ve mentioned that I get to be around some amazing planes in my volunteer position at the Southern California Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, and sometimes I even get to fly in some of our historic planes. In addition to all of that, sometimes I get to meet some fantastic, legendary folks. Yesterday was one of those days.
At lunch yesterday we had a collection of aviation pioneers and legends visiting us.
From left to right, Ci Robin, Clay Lacy, David Price, and Bob Hoover. (If you have any idea who these guys are, especially Bob Hoover, then you know that I was about to explode from pent up SQUEEEEEE!)
For those of you who don’t know, Ci Robin’s company makes about 99% of the antennas that go into any aircraft except those built in Russia. He is a generous benefactor and friend of the CAF SoCal Wing – without him, those two new hangars wouldn’t be there.
Clay Lacy is a legend in Southern California aviation, being the first to bring a Lear Jet to the West Coast in the 1960s, one of the giants that built Van Nuys Airport into what it is today, and also a long-time friend and benefactor or ours. If you’ve seen the fantastic documentary “One Six Right,” you’ll have seen plenty of Clay in there. (If you haven’t seen “One Six Right,” go and do so right now – we’ll wait for you here.)
David Price is a multi-talented pilot and friend of our Wing, as well as one of the founders of the prestigious Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, California. (There are, or very recently were, kids there named Gretzky and Montana, for example, as in Wayne’s kid and Joe’s kid.)
Bob Hoover – I don’t even know where to start. A truly legendary WWII fighter pilot, test pilot, and airshow performer for decades, he was probably the greatest stick-and-rudder pilot ever. He could do things with a plane that others still can’t believe could be done. You know how I’ve squeeeed when I’ve met astronauts? Astronauts squeeee to meet Bob Hoover.
Bob might not be quite as spry at 94 as he used to be, but he’s still sharp as a whip and has a million stories to tell, all of them true.
Oh, yeah. sitting in with us and getting a chance to meet Ci, David, Clay, and Bob was a student helicopter pilot from a few hangars down, Vince Gilligan.
As Bob, David, and Vince were getting a tour of our facilities, Ci and Clay found a shady spot in front of our soon-to-be-flying-again PBJ.
Is that a cool way to spend a Saturday at the hangar, or what?! On the other hand, I might not have gotten as much paperwork done as I needed to…