Bill's Aviation Room -- A Tribute to William Gear

in memoriam....

gear_fin.jpg (11036 bytes)For all you aviation enthusiasts racking your brain trying to remember who William Gear is, fret not. When the annals of aviation history are finally chronicled William Gear’s name will not be among the aviators listed. Then, why have I included his name with the aviation elite you ask? I have placed William Gear’s name on the ‘Aviation Wall of Honor’ not only as an honor to him, but as an honor to all the great unsung aviation heroes who will never be etched in the chronicles of aviation history, but who do their flying jobs exceptionally well, day in and day out. If you are reading this, it may very well be a tribute to you, so read on!

I choose to honor William Gear to represent all the unsung aviation heroes because he is the best pilot I ever had the privilege to fly with. He taught me more about the correct way to fly an airplane than all the instructor pilots I had combined. Blessed with incredible eye sight and hand, eye coordination William Gear, like many other aviators of yesteryear and today, fly their aircraft with great precision always a step ahead of the flight and leaving little or nothing to chance. 

He once made an emergency dead stick landing at night in a C-210 in a 30 knot cross wind. Not many pilots make emergency dead stick night landings and live to talk about it. What he did in the last 30 seconds of that flight was absolutely incredible. Aside from a broken nose, and a bruised and banged up body, and a huge curiosity about why an engine would quit after an otherwise uneventful 2-hour flight, he pretty much walked away from it.gear_kids.jpg (13624 bytes)

Most non-aviation enthusiasts believe the worst thing that could happen to a pilot is to drill a large hole in the ground with his or her aircraft while frantically fighting the controls. This is somewhat true but applies only where innocent life is concerned. In the absence of innocent victims the absolute worse thing that could happen to a pilot is not crashing, but to be grounded, unable to fly. 

Do to a travesty of justice and a freak medical condition William Gear is currently grounded. He has a developed a very serious illness that has taken him from the skies and his only means of support. I would just ask the aviation community to keep my good friend William Gear and his family in your prayers. The top photograph is of William Gear in a DC3 and the other photograph is of William’s children, Octavia sitting co-pilot, Stephanie sitting pilot, and George in the jump seat of a C-130 Hercules.

William Gear has sadly succumbed to his illness. Our prayers continue to be with his family. His love and enthusiasm for flying was an inspiration for us all!

I am currently working on The Aviation Wall of Honor page. If you have a candidate for the Wall of Honor, Pilot or Plane, then please e-mail me at


created by bill black 1997 all rights reserved on all originals, updated 09/20/02


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