Friday, June 16, 2006

Sled Driver

Brian Shul, Pilot, and Walt Watson, RSO, were in Redding tonight to give a 2 hour talk on flying and "living the dream" with the SR-71. What a great night! Shul is a great speaker as well as a great author. He wrote Sled Driver with his RSO Walt. I'm sure most of you have read it (you haven't??? And you call yourself a pilot!! )

You could really tell both guys loved flying the SR-71 and Brian has taken some wonderful pictures over the years which he's put to music in a couple of videos and a great slide presentation. This was no "death by PowerPoint" presentation.

He told stories out of school on Walt, the plane and some of the missions (without going into detail), like doing figure 8's over North Korea, letting off sonic booms every 12 minutes at the request of Ronald Reagan. Apparently the US wasn't invited to a little tete-a-tete between N. Korea, China and Russia. Shul says serving under Reagan as his Commander in Chief was one of the highlights of his career. Walt told of sonic booming Fidel Castro one night.

Brian did tell the whole, true story of the L.A. Center "Ground speed check" by the Cessna, the light twin, the F18 and then "Aspen 3-0....ground speed check please..."

Great evening. If you ever get the chance to hear these guys speak, do so. They call their presentation, "Spy Pilot Chronicles - The Blackbird Remembered". Check it out at

I got two pictures, two of three he's printed outside of the book, signed by both Brian and Walt. One's going to my dad, framed, as he put in 30 years at Lockheed.


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