Bill Blackwood, who Wore man Hats,  passed away This Week

A Survivor of Pearl Harbor and WWII Aviator

The Inventor of Portable Hand Controls to enable the Disabled to Pilot Planes 

Bringing the Joys of Flying to Thousands of Disabled Pilots 

The passing of Bill Blackwood motivated a look back at a unique American who inspired others by living life to the fullest.

Back around 1929, the daring flying of “Sideslip Blackwood” dazzled the folks below. The flying-circus antics of barn-stormers attracted large crowds. Bill Blackwood was a 7-year-old boy who often flew with his father to these air-shows, where he dreamed of the day when he would be at the controls of an airplane.

In 1941, Blackwood joined the U.S. Navy. He hoped to get into aviation as an enlisted pilot, but the start of hostilities with Japan put those plans on hold for several years. In 1944, while en route to the Philippines, he received orders to return to the States for flight training.
Two years later he earned his wings and was assigned to a fighter group at North Island, Calif., where he flew the F8F Bearcat, the “hottest” fighter available in those days.

By July 1962, Blackwood had amassed more than 5,500 hours of pilot time; he flew many different kinds of aircraft from fighters to flying boats. On a fateful Friday the 13th, while in a jet fighter trainer – the Cougar – he found himself upside down in an inverted spin. Unable to stop the spin, he and his student ejected at 10,000 feet.

Due to the tremendous G forces, Blackwood was unable to acquire a good seat position prior to the ejection. When the seat fired, the vertebrae in his back compressed and forced the T12 vertebra out of his spinal column. He was paraplegic while still strapped to the seat.

Another Bill Blackwood survival didn’t slow him down–and the rest of his non-stop life

Read rest of story:

RIP Bill Blackwood: Inventor, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Aviator, American 


RIP Bill Blackwood: Inventor, Pearl Harbor Survivor, Aviator, American

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at All DBKP  stories  are filed under Mondoreb at  BNN.

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