Lt. Colonel Steve Hyle compiled a resume nearly as lengthy as that of General Chuck Yeager.  The Colonel served as Administrator of the Challenger Commission following the first shuttle tragedy.  Yeager was one of the legends appointed to investigate the failure of Challenger.  Yeager died Monday.  He was 97-years-old. 

In World War Two, he became an “Ace” with 13 confirmed shoot downs.

Graduating high school in 1941, Yeager joined the Army and was soon flying.  In World War Two, he became an “Ace” with 13 confirmed shoot downs.  He claimed he had a 14th but it couldn’t be confirmed.  Once shot from the sky, he crossed enemy held France, crossed a mountain range into Spain and made his way back to England.  He resumed the fight in the skies over Europe.

His fame came after the war.  As a test pilot, he broke the sound barrier.  He later said it was a bit of a letdown.  Passed over for the space program, Yeager still trained many of the early astronauts.

He fought in three wars, wrote books and even had a cameo in the Right Stuff.  I saw the movie after leaving college and it was when I first learned his story.

Steve Hyle entered the Air Force in 1967 and crossed paths with some legendary Chiefs-of-Staff, served with the Thunderbirds and then found himself working in the Reagan Administration.  The Colonel’s time with the Commission was his final stop before retirement in 1987.

Steve joined Newsradio 1310 KLIX and reminisced about the legendary and larger-than-life Yeager.  You can hear our conversation below as a YouTube video.  The cover photo on the video is courtesy of the Air Force.  It’s the jet flown by Yeager the day he caused the first sonic boom.

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