Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97
GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the “right stuff” when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound, has died. He was 97.
Yeager died Monday, his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account.
“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”
Yeager's death is “a tremendous loss to our nation,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
“Gen. Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit advanced America’s abilities in the sky and set our nation’s dreams soaring into the jet age and the space age. He said, ‘You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done,'” Bridenstine said.
“In an age of media-made heroes, he is the real deal,” Edwards Air Force Base historian Jim Young said in August 2006 at the unveiling of a bronze statue of Yeager.
He was “the most righteous of all those with the right stuff,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards.
Yeager, from a small town in the hills of West Virginia, flew for more than 60 years, including piloting an F-15 to near 1,000 mph (1,609 kph) at Edwards in October 2002 at age 79.
“Living to a ripe old age is not an end in itself. The trick is to enjoy the years remaining,” he said in “Yeager: An Autobiography.”
“I haven’t yet done everything, but by the time I’m finished, I won’t have missed...