Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

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

Unread post by jimdavis » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:49 pm

It's a tough call between Eric Brown and Bob Hoover.

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

Unread post by LowFlyingDuck » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:34 pm

Neil Williams (11-time British aerobatic champion and winner of multiple awards) deserves a mention, even if it’s just for this one event:

While practicing for an aerobatic display, he “had a spar failure in one wing that left the aircraft in an uncontrollable bank. He inverted it and the wing moved back to its normal position allowing 'normal' inverted flight. He then flew an inverted circuit and approach, and then rolled upright at the last moment before landing.”
Last edited by LowFlyingDuck on Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Keith Quixley » Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:35 pm

I vote the question be rephrased as "Who's the best pilot you ever saw?"
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by HJK 414 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:24 pm

Keith Quixley wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:35 pm
I vote the question be rephrased as "Who's the best pilot you ever saw?"
That would take the bias away …...

BOB HOOVER …….

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

Unread post by Wilco » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:27 pm

It's really a toss up.
It's either Lt. Pete Mitchell or Lt. Tom Kazansky.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Chalkie » Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:33 pm

HJK 414 wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 6:24 pm
Keith Quixley wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:35 pm
I vote the question be rephrased as "Who's the best pilot you ever saw?"
That would take the bias away …...

BOB HOOVER …….

JK
Bob Hoover would get my vote too, he seemed able to become an extension of the aircraft.

Notable mention would be Mike Melville, born JHB, schooled in Natal, employee No 2 at Rutan Aircraft Factory (Sally was employee No 3) went on to test fly the Proteus (high altitude 60 000 ft) and SpaceShipOne (much higher) TWICE was awarded Test Pilot of the year, by a Military controlled Test Pilot group. Not too shabby for a civvie pilot.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Trevorn » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:50 pm

Manfred von Richthofen should not even make the top 100 list. He was a good marksman strategist and hunter, but not a good pilot.

I'm surprised Ernst Udet has not been mentioned.
My vote would go to him for pure natural ability.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by southside » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:32 pm

I agree with an above poster that it may be Joe Soap.

I think a big part of being the most capable pilot is not just about the stick and rudder skills, but also ones knowledge of the regulations in that you know how to apply them in the moment when things go pear shaped or simply differ from the plan.

This includes a sound knowledge of the Jepp, AIP's ect.

When flying in adverse weather, from pre departure, en route and arrival to diverting to an alternate, your decision making is allot more sound when you have this solid foundation.

When one has this foundation it makes you far more competent when you combine it with good flying abilities.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by moosp » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:49 pm

Most capable might exclude the once-off amazing skills that hit the news over the last century. It is the continual skill set of a pilot which shows the capability, as in Eric Brown mentioned above.

I have always been impressed by the German test pilot Melitta Schiller, Gräfin (Countess) von Stauffenberg who flew as a test pilot on many aircraft but particularly the Stuka. She is worth googling if you are not familiar with her work. Ten hours of dive bombing profiles a day then writing up the results, shows dedication, and she was not even a Nazi. Most pilots could not fly more than three Stuka profiles without sickness.

But it is pointless to choose one. There are many "most capable" in all areas of aviation. Enjoy them all, and learn from them.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by spokes » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:58 am

I see no mention of SPOKES here..
Cheers gotta go 😉
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Ugly Duckling » Tue Sep 10, 2019 7:37 am

spokes wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:58 am
I see no mention of SPOKES here..
Cheers gotta go 😉
Which one :lol:
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by expatdoc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:08 am

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

Unread post by expatdoc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:16 am

jimdavis wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:49 pm
It's a tough call between Eric Brown and Bob Hoover.

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

Unread post by expatdoc » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:22 am

moosp wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:49 pm
...I have always been impressed by the German test pilot Melitta Schiller, Gräfin (Countess) von Stauffenberg who flew as a test pilot on many aircraft but particularly the Stuka. She is worth googling if you are not familiar with her work. Ten hours of dive bombing profiles a day then writing up the results, shows dedication, and she was not even a Nazi. Most pilots could not fly more than three Stuka profiles without sickness...
Stukas = Hans-Ulrich Rudel.
Last edited by expatdoc on Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Who was the most capable pilot ever...?

Unread post by Airwayfreak » Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:25 am

Bit of a silly question if you ask me. It's like asking who is the most capable brain surgeon or lawyer. How does one determine this?

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