At Sun ‘n Fun 2000 R.A. “Bob” Hoover gave his last performance prior to retirement. Hoover, in his well-known Shrike Commander, entertained the crowd. In this brief final flight, he rolled his aircraft on takeoff followed by trails of smoke. After a short climb and 180-degree turn, Hoover approached the airport shutting down both engines on descent. In a glider-like maneuver the Shrike Commander then drifted with the winds and once again climbed, still without power. Prior to stall, Hoover turned one final time. Descending toward the runway one wheel touching gently, then the others. Rolling silently, his aircraft stopped in front of a dazzled crowd.
At the time, I knew relatively little of Bob and the legacy he would leave. But the experience of watching and meeting him remains an indelible memory, and a great inspiration. To learn more about Bob Hoover, watch Remembering Bob Hoover – The Greatest Ever on www.youtube.com.