Monday, June 06, 2016

RIP Bill Gordon warbird pilot

As some of you no doubt know, Bill Gordon (of Key West Florida), an experienced warbird pilot died on Friday night May 27, 2016 when the P-47 Thunderbolt he was piloting crashed into the Hudson River just south of the George Washington Bridge. Gordon's P-47, owned by the American Airpower Museum, was flying with two other warbirds in a promotional photo shoot at the time of the crash. The two other warbirds landed safely. He was scheduled to fly the P-47 in the Jones Beach Airshow last weekend to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the P-47.

According to this May 28th article from the Washington Post, Gordon had over 25 years experience flying in air shows and was formerly the chief pilot at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in New York. The Washington Post refers to Gordon's profile (now offline?) from an April Key West airshow saying that he was an "Aerobatic Competency Evaluator for the air show industry” who certified air-show performers to executive “low level aerobatics,” a profile from an April Key West airshow says about him."

I join all who loved Bill Gordon -- his family, friends, warbird and airshow pilots -- in offering my thoughts and prayers. I know that he is flying in favorable tail winds.

The American Airpower Museum has a nice tribute to Bill on their Facebook Page.

The GEICO Skytypers flew a missing man formation in the Bethpage Federal Credit Union Air Show (Jones Beach) in memory of Bill Gordon. The American Airpower Museum shared the video on their Facebook page (May 29th),  but I had trouble with the video in one of my browsers. However, I was able to find a video of the missing man formation posted on youtube which I am embedding here:

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