Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

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TC
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Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by TC » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:59 pm

This question is HIGHLY subjective, I get it.

Some would argue that the ‘best’ pilot is someone who flew a 182 for 30 years having risked doing anything more dangerous than a rate one turn, in severe clear broad daylight with zero wind, 72 hours after his last drink because god forbid he did anything risky. Let’s ignore these guys for a bit...

Who would you nominate for the all-round ‘best ability to get the desired result from an aircraft’? Who is the is the world’s greatest ‘aeroplane whisperer’?

Manfred von Richthofen?
Chesley Sullenberger?
Bob Pearson (Gimli Glider)?
Bob Hoover?
Chuck Yeager?
Paul Bonhomme?
Nigel Lamb?
Skip Stewart?
Rob Holland?
Nigel Hopkins?
My wife keeps saying I don't listen to her or something like that !?
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Christo » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:08 pm

How about Joe Soap who nobody knows about?

Most capable famous pilot...

My opinion...all the guys who took part in the Red Bull air races. Low to the ground high speed precision flying required!
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Whirly » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:08 pm

I would vote the one and only Bob Hoover.

Whirly.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by HJK 414 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:11 pm

I am a tad biased as I knew the man in person,
But looking at his capabilities and career ….

Bob Hoover …….. =D>

RIP old friend ….. :wink:

As an aside,
Dave (Volo) informed me of an anecdote at Klaas Goudriaan's funeral.......

Here's a little anecdote told at Klaas's memorial service .
In his inimitable style he apparently said that if heaven was a place where they going to give him short wings and he would have to sit on a cloud and sing - he did not want to go there . He rather wanted to go to a place where they would give him long wings and he would not have to sing as he considered that not one of his core competencies .
Id rather like to think that he got his long wings


I live in the utter conviction that people like Klaas and Bob have their long wings ......... :wink:

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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by apollo11 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:33 pm

Without a doubt in my mind was Group Captain Douglas Bader and Wing Commander Guy Gibson, Adolf Galland, also amazing, in modern times I think Bob Hoover, Trevor Arnold, Sully, and Scully Levin right up there...
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Fransw » Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:38 pm

Christo wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:08 pm
How about Joe Soap who nobody knows about?

Most capable famous pilot...

My opinion...all the guys who took part in the Red Bull air races. Low to the ground high speed precision flying required!
Agree on the Red Bull pilots. Immensely capable!...
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by SandPiper » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:21 pm

Naahhh….

one of my ex colleges could down a beer dumpy (the beer only), in less than five seconds.

My hero.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by snoopy » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:23 pm

SandPiper wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:21 pm
Naahhh….

one of my ex colleges could down a beer dumpy (the beer only), in less than five seconds.

My hero.
:lol: :twisted: =D>
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Kortbroek » Mon Sep 09, 2019 2:28 pm

Obviously it should be Thomas Fitzpatrick
At approximately 3 a.m. on September 30, 1956, Fitzpatrick, while intoxicated, stole a single engine plane from the Teterboro School of Aeronautics in New Jersey and flew without lights or radio before landing on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in front of a New York City bar where earlier he had been drinking and made an intoxicated barroom bet that he could travel from New Jersey to New York City in 15 minutes. The New York Times called the flight a "feat of aeronautics" and a "fine landing". For his illegal flight, he initially received a $5,000 bail, but he was fined $100.00 after the plane's owner refused to press charges.

On October 4, 1958 just before 1 a.m., Fitzpatrick, again intoxicated, stole another plane from the same airfield and landed on Amsterdam and 187th street in front of a Yeshiva University building after another bar patron disbelieved his first feat. For his second stolen flight, Judge John A. Mullen sentenced him to six months in prison stating, "Had you been properly jolted then, it’s possible this would not have occurred a second time." Fitzpatrick said "it's the lousy drink" that caused him to pull the stunt
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Fi ... ck_(pilot)
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Chris71 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:09 pm

Two worthy additions to the names already mentioned would be Art Scholl and Svetlana Kapanina.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by rb » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:11 pm

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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by excolonial » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:13 pm

Me (of course) and perhaps this guy at number 2:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Brown_(pilot)
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by spatz » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:31 pm

Eric (Winkle) Brown
wasn't limited by type or location

Capable in my book is them who can adapt the best to the situation
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by G-FASH » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:41 pm

One big name missing from the OP list:

Eric Melrose "Winkle" Brown

RN test pilot who flew more aircraft types than anyone else in history (487) and holds the record for the most carrier deck take-off's and landings....both records unlikely ever to be beaten.

His memoire "Wings on My Sleeve" is a cracking read

Had the great fortune to meet him and listen to him speak a couple of times, about his amazing aviation career

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Brown_%28pilot%29

….Eric was rightly added above in the time I was drafting this!
Last edited by G-FASH on Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Mrb13676 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:41 pm

Al Haynes? (RIP) (United 232)
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