Back to Squawk list
  • 89

Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, dead at 97

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. "It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET," said the tweet, attributed to his wife, actress Victoria Scott D'Angelo. "An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered… ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Tim Lamborn 25
"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."
CDBrozovich 1
High Flight
By John Gillespie Magee, Jr.
(A sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He came to Britain, flew in a Spitfire squadron, and was killed at the age of nineteen on 11 December 1941 during a training flight from the airfield near Scopwick.)

Portions Of This Lovely Poem Appear On The Headstones Of Many Interred In Arlington National Cemetery,
Patricularly Aviators And Astronauts

So lovely, Sir Tim, that you connected these words to such an amazing inspiration to so many aviators, myself included. General Yeager would be proud. God bless.
John Yarno 1
Thank you for posting that. Very appropriate.
Bill Snowden 1
Very nice Tim. He deserves it.
Robert Spruce 24
RIP Chuck Yeager, the pilot every other pilot wanted to be!
Bill Snowden 2
Very well stated!
Scott Campbell 20
And beyond - Godspeed
Well done good and faithful servant
Jimmy Robinson 35
I met him once, here in LaGrange, Georgia, and was able to get him to sign my copy of his book. He was a larger-than-life figure and someone on my short list of people I wanted to meet. Meeting him was quite a thrill I have to admit, and I feel the world was better for him having been in it, as well as other pilots and aviators who did their part for this country and aviation. There's so much I would like to say but it is hard to measure the impact that he had with me by just being here in this world, even if I never met him again or was able to speak to him again. He was just here, and that's all he needed to do all these many years. He did his part and was an inspiration for all those interested in aviation and in the military, and I'm glad he was here. I shall miss him being on this Earth.
Bill Snowden 2
I had the same honor in Fresno California at a Pelco memorial for the victims of 911, and he was as you said, larger than life. It was an honor just to shake his hand and thank him for what he did for the world of aviation. By the way, he didn'take a commercial airline to the event, he arrive in an F-15 instead! RIP Mr. Yeager.
stratofan 14
I am so sad to hear of his passing, even though none of us live forever. He made this world a better place for all his accomplishments, not just in aviation although those were many. May he, Bob Hoover, Don Gentile, and 'Dusty' Kleiss, fly on forever! Fair skies Buddy!
Roy Hunte 14
Cleared to FL infinity.
sparkie624 12
Rest In Peace... You did so much for us... Job well done!
A true hero and legend.
I got to meet him and shake his hand at The Centennial of Flight Celebration on Dec 16, 2003.
Great guy.
ADXbear 12
RIP General. Your contributions to the world are well done, you will be missed... God Bless as you play among the angels!
I made my first landing in a B727 as an F/O with General Yeager onboard. Fortunately, with beginners luck, I rolled it on. It was a quick turn from DFW to SAT. He stopped by the cockpit and talked to us. What a great guy and he was kind enough to sign the AA Flight Plan for me. I still have it after 35 years. God Bless him and his family....
Eric Hein 10
Sad Day in aviation
bbabis 17
It’s not what you take when you leave this world behind you, it’s what you leave behind you when you go. Wow! What a legacy he left behind.
Forever blue skies and tailwinds general Yeager. RIP
sparkie624 16
Cleared to Flight Level Unlimited~ Now soaring with the best!
Tim Segulin 8
Gen. Yeager was an aerospace pioneer on whose shoulders anyone flying supersonic stands today. He broke the sound barrier in a rocket powered aircraft when many experts claimed it could not be done.

So which pioneer was the first to fly a jet plane? He also flew the first liquid fueled rocket plane and he did both within weeks of each other. He's largely forgotten today and I'll bet most folks would have to Google his name. History can be fickle.

Godspeed Chuck Yeager.
crabit 8
Gone but never to be forgotten is the remarkable achievements. Rest In Peace Chuck and forever in the place you loved

"Later, I realized that the mission had to end in a let-down because the real barrier wasn't in the sky but in our knowledge and experience of supersonic flight."
robin guess 14
I had the pleasure to meet General Yeager at the Edwards open house in 2005. His accomplishments and advances to aviation will never be forgotten.

RIP Chuck.
James Simms 7
Gen. Yeager had a cameo in ‘The Right Stuff’ as the bartender @ Pancho’s. Rest In Peace & sad to think hero’s of yesterday are leaving us @ too fast a rate.
patrick baker 12
one image that remains is the General taking his last ride in a F-15, with all the attendant hooplaw that properly went with that celebration. He looked exactly like he belonged in that aircraft, elegant, confident, and with eyes of steel. He recieved accolades all his life because he did big deeds his whole life. Betcha he could still fly that F-15 even though he was the backseat passenger .
dilkie 10
Betcha he *did* fly that F-15. I can't imagine any Air Force pilot who wouldn't offer to turn the controls over to him.
sparkie624 6
If I was a Bet Man, I would not bet against you on that one!
David Searls 6
I had some fun Q&A exchanges with Gen. Yeager on Twitter. It felt like an absolute privilege to engage with him, even in that small way. He's a true hero and will be missed forever.
dilkie 6
I read his book many years ago. What a fascinating man. If you haven't read it, do so.
I had the Great pleasure to meet General Yeager, I asked him to sign his book and he asked me why. He was a kind and humble man. He will be missed.
I read the book right stuff, he experienced lot of things during lifetime, now he*s on his own woyage have a good trip chuck.
Sad news!
John Ward 4
My very first HERO! He had a long, prosperous and well deserved life!
John Philpott 4
A true hero who will be much missed
Lou Nigro 4
I met the General in 1992. He was on the Board of a corporation and we were demoing a Falcon Jet for them. On our leg to drop off General Yeager we had him fly into Sacramento. He agreed to fly it even Though in his words it was “a silly French airplane”. When some settings were offered on final the General simply replied “we’ll just fly the airplane”. To fly with a legend like Chuck Yeager watching him run the power levers with burned scared hands from his high altitude punch out was an honor. RIP General and thank you for memories.
sparkie624 1
WOW... that is a Nice Memory!
If he had only followed Einstein's principal and flown a bit faster, he could have come back younger and might still be alive.
s s 3
A man's man and great patriot to the end. RIP General.
Godspeed Gen. Yeager, you are now flying closer to God !!
Mike Rados 4
RIP, up there with the best of the best. A true salt to the Earth man. A pioneer and hero that inspired me to become a test pilot. I was even fortunate enough to share the same birthday, lucky Feb 13. Enjoy your new frontier and break some more records while your at it!
sparkie624 2
Yes... I am QRV, you everyone else is as well.
Blake Van 2
God's Speed Chuck" see ya Buddy!
Blake Van 2
God's Speed Chuck, see ya Buddy..
Jerry Butler 2
See you up in the Heavens. Enjoy the flight!
rbt schaffer 1
Saw Chuck on Dec 17 1987 when he flew a PA 400LS from Edwards to KFFA for the Wright Bro's celebration. You could see that pilots twinkle in his eye when he picked out my wife for the last book he signed that day.. Sits on the top shelf.... Blue Skies for a life well lived Gen Yeager.
WhiteKnight77 1
I was always amazed at what he did in the field of aeronautics. While I always tended to fly low and slow (helicopters aren't that fast or fly that high and I was just aircrew) and I wished I could fly like him, he showed people what can be done in the air.
drpepper 0
I really idolized Gen. Yeager when I was younger, especially when I dreamed of being a pilot. I was saddened to learn later in life of his actions to prevent Capt. Ed Dwight from becoming an astronaut and his treatment of female service members. I guess as we get older we realize all our heroes have flaws. Here's hoping that future role models have more stuff that's right than the other way round.
Except that he didn't prevent Dwight from becoming an astronaut. That was NASA's call, not Yeager's.

The Kennedy White House was so hellbent on having a black astronaut that they sent a black pilot to test pilot school, which Yeager commanded at the time. The problem was that Dwight wasn't test pilot material. Yeager himself said that he had nothing against black pilots, and had flown with some really good ones, but that they didn't put in for test pilot school for their own reasons. Yeager had to relax standards and give a ton of extra help to Dwight, who wound up barely scraping through the school. So Yeager did his part. When Dwight was sent to NASA as an astronaut candidate, they chose not to select him.
drpepper 1
Not really that B&W, and will probably always be IFR instead of VFR in terms of clarity.

[This comment was deleted.]

Jerry Butler 5
Your spam is not wanted here! Get lost!
Go away


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.