It is with a sad heart that accompanies the announcement of the death of General Chuck Yeager, one of the greatest patriots and pilots in our lifetimes.
Fox News reported,”Chuck Yeager, the historic test pilot portrayed in the movie “The Right Stuff,” is dead at the age of 97, according to a tweet posted on his account late Monday.”
According to his biography:
“Charles Elwood Yeager was a United States Air Force officer, flying ace, and record-setting test pilot. In 1947, he became the first pilot in history confirmed to have exceeded the speed of sound in level flight. Yeager’s career began in World War II as a private in the United States Army Air Forces in 1941.”
Indy 500 fans will remember his speed, his patriotism, his encouraging and uplifting attitude.
I knew him from the Indianapolis 500, so it is with fondness I remember his time as a Pace Car Driver at the 1986 Indy 500.
The Sun-Sentenial wrote in 1986:
Chuck Yeager, the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, has been selected to drive the pace car during the Indianapolis 500.
The retired Air Force brigadier general will be at the wheel of a bright yellow 1986 Chevrolet Corvette for the May 25 race. It will be the first time since 1978 that the race will have a street-legal automobile as its pace car.
The selection of Yeager was announced Thursday by Chevrolet and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which hosts the annual race by Indy-cars.
Officials said Yeager, a consulting test pilot for the Northrop Corp. since 1980 and a spokesman for the AC-Delco Division of General Motors since 1982, will be making several trips to Indianapolis in May to prepare for his race-day activities.
Yeager will be in Indianapolis Monday when Chevrolet officials present a Corvette pace car to the Speedway for display in its automotive Hall of Fame Museum.
On Oct. 14, 1947, Yeager became the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound and on Dec. 12, 1953, he became the first man to fly more than twice the speed of sound.
The roadster that will be on display is one of the first of the new soft- top Corvettes off the line at the General Motors plant in Bowling Green, Ky., the automaker announced.
When Yeager takes the track for the 70th Indianapolis 500, it will mark the seventh time that a Chevrolet has been the pace car and the second time for a Corvette.
Race on General Yeager. Till we meet again.