Re: Robin Olds dies

Message posted by Chris McDowell on June 15, 2007 at 22:11:34 PST:

I grew up, thanks to my father, admiring fighter pilots. Military aviation is very nearly a religion for me (I suppose that makes Area 51 my Mecca!). Robin Olds, along with Chuck Yeager and Randy Cunningham, was one of the pilots I looked up to the most. I had two model Phantoms on my desk as a kid; one painted up as Cunningham's Navy F-4J, and the other one Olds' Air Force F-4E. I slightly preferred the Air Force over the Navy as a kid, so Olds' jet was usually placed to the six-o'clock of Cunningham's, so that the Air Force could get the first shot in. Their positions changed several times over the years, depending on my mood, or whichever pilot I was reading about at the time.

I'll never forget something Robin Olds said on a mil-aviation documentary years ago. I've actually committed it to memory:
"Fighter pilot is an attitude. It is cockiness, it is aggressiveness, it is a streak of rebelliousness. A fighter pilot is a man in love with flying. A fighter pilot is a man who wants to be second best to no one. I think it is love of that vault of blue, that becomes your playground -- if, and only if, you're a fighter pilot. You don't understand it if you just fly from A to B, straight and level, and merely climb and descend. You're moving through the basement of that vault of blue. A fighter pilot sees not a cloud, but beauty. He sees not the ground, but something remote from him, something he doesn't belong to as long as he's airborne."

I still have my Phantom models. I think I'll be putting Robin back in that six=o'clock spot.

- Chris M.

In Reply to: Robin Olds dies posted by Ron on June 15, 2007 at 20:49:22 PST:


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