Trivia Testers : Yessir, We Go ‘WAY Back

Question: When Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier on October 4, 1947, he had another pilot on his wing (who at the time was equally as unheard-of). It was…

  1. Jackie Cochran
  2. Bob Hoover
  3. Duane Cole
  4. Art Scholl

Answer: B. Hoover was also Yeager’s back-up pilot.

Subject: Methuselah’s Rotors

Question: Who is the world’s oldest helicopter pilot?

  1. Frank Robinson, Sr., of Palos Verdes Estates, California, age 88
  2. Walter Frumpley, of Zelienople, PA, age 92 (commercial certificate, and still flies for Allegheny Technologies)
  3. Morris Lazarus, of Key Biscayne, FL, age 94, also rated and current in single and multi-engine seaplanes
  4. John M. Miller of Poughkeepsie, NY, age 97 (also an active CFI)

Answer: D. Yes, really. The oldest helicopter pilot is presently Mr. John M. Miller of Poughkeepsie, NY. Dates of birth are not releasable, but Miller is almost 98. Not only has he been around for awhile, having spent about 80 years in the pilot’s seat, but his rotary-wing flying also has an impressive span: he was flying autogyros back in the era of Amelia Earhart. He made the first transcontinental autogyro flight, in fact, in May of 1931 (beating her by 10 days, incidentally). Oh, and he also flies airplanes; he retired from Eastern Airlines in 1964, and still takes his Beech Bonanza around the country to visit nine grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. (Those numbers are subject to change.) He still has an active CFI certificate, to boot—doing pretty well, I’d say.

Subject: It’s The Thought That Counts

Question: There were, if you take it down to numerical designators, over 200 aircraft ‘types’ either produced or used by America during World War II (although more broadly, the number of distinctly different US aircraft that saw combat is still in the dozens). How many American aircraft designs saw combat during World War I?

  1. 19
  2. 11
  3. 4
  4. 1

Answer: D. Our ‘Jenny’ or ‘Standard’ trainers were never used in combat, but the Curtiss Flying Boat was used for submarine patrol and bombing. (It must be mentioned however that the United States didn’t formally decide to help make the world safe for democracy until April 6, 1917, so the other Allies had a bit of a head start…)