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Aviator • Mentor • Executive • Writer

Amelia Island, Florida, USA •

Captain W. Patrick Gordon.JPEG

My apologies to the late Bob Hoover but this was not an attempt to           emulate him. I bought this hat on a flight to Palm Beach, Florida. The Gulfstream IIB was so crowded on the way back to Saudi Arabia that I wore the hat in flight in order to keep it from being crushed.

Perhaps one could consider it as an unofficial salute to Bob Hoover who I greatly admired. He was a World War II fighter ace, a war hero who escaped a prison camp, stole a German airplane and flew to safety. He went on for years after the war to thrill airshow crowds everywhere. His trademarks were a twin-engine Aero Commander and a Panama hat. Perhaps his most famous in flight maneuver was to pour a pitcher of water into a glass with one hand while executing a slow role in the twin engine airplane with the other hand. He normally ended his airshow with a double engine, dead stick landing that concluded with the quiet airplane rolling up to stop exactly in front of the crowd.

His dead-stick landings influenced so many of us that this maneuver successfully concluded my type ride in a Gulfstream II. (Both engines were pulled to “flight-idle” overhead the airport while I wore the instrument flying, training hood. The hood was then removed and I landed the airplane without power and passed the check ride.)


Captain W. Patrick Gordon

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