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Jimmy Leeward
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Aviator
    (October 21, 1936-September 16, 2011)
    Owned the Leeward Air Ranch in Ocala, Florida
    Flew a modified P-51 Mustang, the Galloping Ghost
    Board member of the Experimental Aircraft Association
    Stunt pilot in the films 'Cloud Dancer' (1980), 'Smokey and the Bandit III' (1983), 'The Tuskegee Airmen' (1995), 'Dragonfly' (2002) and 'Amelia' (2009)
    Died in a crash at the National Championship Air Races at Reno, Nevada
    He said, 'NASCAR at 200 mph? Indy at 230 mph? Top Fuel at 300 mph? Mere child's play.'
    He briefly raced cars, crashing into a wall at half speed trying to qualify for the Grand Prix of Miami, breaking his nose (1986).
    After the Reno crash, there was speculation about whether he was too old to handle the physical stresses of air racing.
    He crashed into the box seats, killing eight spectators and injuring 69.
    He first flew solo at age 14.
    He flew over 250 types of airplanes during his career.
    He was married to Bette Leeward for 52 years.
    Air Classics editor Michael O'Leary said, 'He's very unassuming. You'd never guess that's what he did if you met him in a restaurant or something.'
    Video stills from just before the crash appear to show the plane's elevator trim tab breaking off, which would make Leeward's age a non-factor in the crash.
    Several witnesses said he apparently tried to avoid the main grandstands before impact.

Credit: C. Fishel


    In 2018, Out of 3 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
    In 2017, Out of 5 Votes: 40.0% Annoying
    In 2016, Out of 5 Votes: 20.0% Annoying
    In 2015, Out of 12 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
    In 2014, Out of 19 Votes: 52.63% Annoying
    In 2013, Out of 26 Votes: 53.85% Annoying
    In 2012, Out of 13 Votes: 61.54% Annoying
    In 2011, Out of 103 Votes: 76.70% Annoying
 
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