Hell of a Ride : A first person biography of the ?gutsy? test pilot, Richard G. ?Dick? Thomas, notorious for his bold, daring and dashing flight test escapades!
This biography brings to life the many struggles 'Dick' encountered on his way to success; and the power plays and politics of the corporate involvement regarding his test pilot's career. Not all of Dick's airplane incidents are mentioned, but his significant stories come to life such as: his fiery crash in the T-33; his ejection over Mount Whitney; his spin tests in the F-5's; and his final assignment in the 'black world' as chief project pilot on the highly classified Tacit Blue. From his early childhood in up-state New York, to the difficulties of growing up in a harsh environment, he overcame illness and injury. He kept his determination to do something special, be a test pilot. In his senior years, it describes the tragedy of his pallidotomy surgery for Parkinson's disease that left him disabled and brought about early dementia. To say 'Dick' was a controversial figure in the aerospace industry would be an understatement. To say 'Dick' made his mark and contributed to his aerospace world would be accurate. However, both of these statements would be true. How was he bold, daring and dashing? You will find those answers as you read about him.
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November 25, 2008
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