First Pilot to Break the Sound Barrier, Chuck Yeager Dies aged 97

General Chuck Yeager, a renowned WWII fighter pilot and the first person to break the sound barrier has died at aged 97.

General Chuck Yeager, a renowned WWII fighter pilot and the first person to break the sound barrier has passed away aged 97 at a hospital in Los Angeles.

“It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.” announced his wife Victoria on Twitter. 

Yeager who was born in West Virginia, flew for more than 60 years, including piloting an experimental plane at Edwards Air Force Base in October 2002 at age 79.

During his time as a pilot in World War II, Yeager shot down five German planes in a single day and 13 planes overall.

In 1947, Yeager flew the experimental Bell X-1 rocket 700 mph at 43,000 feet over California’s Mojave Desert and became the first person to break the sound barrier in level flight. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985 for his achievement. 

Throughout his career, Yeager flew more than 150 various military aircraft and had more than 10,000 flying hours.

“Gen. Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit advanced America’s abilities in the sky and set our nation’s dreams soaring into the jet age and the space age, ” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.


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