A moment of reflection at Reno Air Races 2013
1981 Airshow at Ryan Airfield, Tucson AZ
Dog Fight With The FAA (excerpt from Forever Flying)
Lee suggested that I videotape my aerobatic routine so that I could demonstrate to the court that my abilities had not deteriorated. I secured an ex-Navy T-28B Trainer NX171BA for this purpose from Bob Grant, owner of Great American Aircraft, who maintained my P-51. He also linked me up with Ray Hughes, a pilot who holds a commercial license and letter of authorization in the T-28. He agreed to videotape the demonstration from the backseat of the aircraft. Ray and I could never have anticipated what was in store for us.
The engine operation was normal through a series of maneuvers, a four point roll to the left. Two loops and one-half of a Cuban eight were performed. Upon recovering from this maneuver, the chip warning red light illuminated indicating a detection of metal in the oil system. This warrants landing the airplane as soon as possible. Immediately following the illumination of the chip light, the propeller governor control failed to hold the engine and propeller rpm, causing an excessive overspeed condition. Thus resulted in an increase in the oil temperature gauge and decrease in oil pressure. The engine was kept running intermittently by constantly manipulating the engine controls, throttle mixture, and propeller lever, as well as the engine cooling flaps. Each time the engine would stop running or backfire, an adjustment was made to get it running again. When the engine was running, it was so rough that it felt as if it would shake the airplane apart...
Right at touchdown, the engine froze, shaking the airplane so severely as to break the fittings, attach points to the fuselage, to the wings and twist the engine from it's mount. The bolts holding the engine mounts were sheared and the engine twisted the fuselage.
Handling of this emergency should have convinced the FAA that my capabilities were as good ever.
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Bob celebrated his 93rd birthday on January 24, 2015
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Bob Hoover in his T-28.
Bob left Rockwell International to join Del Smith's Evergreen International Aviation Company in 1986. Bob Shane photo
AirVenture 2009 Bob Hoover and Ed Gunter book signing
Photo courtesy Ralph "SkyDoc" Glasser MD
This photo was taken after the first test flight of BuNo 137636 on April 6, 1953. R.A. "Bob" Hoover delivered the first production T-28B BuNo 137641 to NAS Pensacola, Florida on December 31, 1953