rational and thoughtful up in here then where's all the fun??? lol I didn't find anything really to disagree with in what you wrote; seems pretty much what I think overall. I agree that the aerobatics performed in the video are both high and safe. The problem is that they are being done in a really unforgiving airplane. Many do not realize that the P-51 has a really dark side and that it's particularly risky/treacherous during aerobatic maneuvers (don't know which ones) but I've even had a P-51 pilot tell me that. Many of the guys here have a wide-eyed fascination with these planes and virtually worship the guys who fly them; unlike themselves in most cases. I've done a good bit of flying but (sigh) no piloting. Growing up my neighbor was a crop duster and his father-in-law who literally lived on the other side was a pilot.
It's interesting to note that Howard Pardue flew what I always thought were fairly safe routines in his F8F-1 and his Sea Fury. Very smooth and nicely choreographed and what you might call graceful. As you noted in the earlier case he stayed well off the deck doing so. If he was indeed doing a 1/2 Cuban 8 on take-off I never saw him fly anything crazy like that. Hoover and a number of now dead aerobatic pilots are another matter though. There are, as you also pointed out, going to be the risk takers who feel invincible...they're not of course but they really do seem to think they are. Jimmy Franklin and Jim LeRoy come to mind. I met Franklin in Columbus about two years before he died and I asked him if it bothered him doing wing walking routines with his son on the wings. His response was that it looks much more dangerous than it is. Of course now he's dead, Jim LeRoy is dead, Bobby Younkin is dead and Kyle Franklin watched his magnificent wife Amanda burn to death last year! These things are starting to get to me for some reason.
So a friend says: "cheer up things could be worse; so I cheered up and sure as hell Things Got Worse!
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