Dick Rutan into the skies one last time

| May 10, 2024 | 11 Comments

You should remember Dick Rutan, the Air Force Vietnam vet who set a world record by flying around the world non-refueled and non-stop in 1985. He  died May 3rd at the age of 85.

Originally a RIO in the F-101 Voodoo, he earned his pilot’s wings in 1966.

Rutan served during the Vietnam War as one of the founding members of the “Mistys” of Operation Commando Sabre, pioneering the use of tactical jets as a “FastFAC” (known as forward air control) for the FAC Airborne mission, which searched for and marked targets with white phosphorus rockets ahead of the strike package. He flew 325 missions but had to eject one time, when his “Hun” North American F-100 Super Sabre aircraft was hit.

He went on to serve in a variety of roles as an F-100 pilot, A-7 pilot, and finished his career at the 355th Tactical Fighter wing at Davis-Monthan AFB from January 1977 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1978.

During his career with the Air Force, Rutan was awarded the Silver Star, five Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, and a Purple Heart. He retired from the Air Force in 1978 with the rank of lieutenant colonel.Wiki

On to 1985:

Burt Rutan was alarmed to see the plane he had designed was so loaded with fuel that the wing tips started dragging along the ground as it taxied down the runway. He grabbed the radio to warn the pilot, his older brother Dick Rutan. But Dick never heard the message.

Nine days and three minutes later, Dick, along with copilot Jeana Yeager (no relation to Chuck – ed.), completed one of the greatest milestones in aviation history: the first round-the-world flight with no stops or refueling.

A decorated Vietnam War pilot, Dick Rutan died Friday evening at a hospital in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, with Burt and other loved ones by his side. He was 85. His friend Bill Whittle said he died on his own terms when he decided against enduring a second night on oxygen after suffering a severe lung infection.

Both Rutan brothers and Yeager were each awarded a Presidential Citizens Medal by President Ronald Reagan, who described how a local official in Thailand at first “refused to believe some cockamamie story” about a plane flying around the world on a single tank of gas.

“We had the freedom to pursue a dream, and that’s important,” Dick Rutan said at the ceremony. “And we should never forget, and those that guard our freedoms, that we should hang on to them very tenaciously and be very careful about some do-gooder that thinks that our safety is more important than our freedom. Because freedom is awful difficult to obtain, and it’s even more difficult to regain it once it’s lost.” Military.com

Wise words, sir. Read the article…LTC Rutan sounds like a one-off you should know.

Category: Air Force, Veterans in the news, We Remember

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Because freedom is awful difficult to obtain, and it’s even more difficult to regain it once it’s lost.” 
That part of Rutans message really hits home as to where we are at politically in this country. To me it seems government has this idea I need to be protected from my self, when it’s government I need protection from.


That’s the money quote.
Sadly, the college students are indoctrinated otherwise.


Kinda guessing he wasn’t a big biden supporter…


I learned a lot about him through the stories of Bill Whittle. Mr. Rutan was an awe inspiring man.


President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neande

High Flight

“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds,—and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—”

Keep reaching, and keep touching.


Godspeed, Farewell, and Rest Easy, Good Sir. We Salute you and your Service to our Country.


I never knew about his USAF career, pretty damn impressive! He and his brother built some of the most curious, strange looking, and efficient aircraft ever.

A Proud Infidel®™

*Slow Salute*

Anna Puma

Dick Rutan is the guy with the flight cap. Guy with the wine glass is Ed Risinger as he celebrates his last Misty mission. Guy with the bottle is Brian Williams, no not ThAT Brian Willams, who would later be shot down and become a POW.

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Between Wild Weasel I and Commando Sabre it is hard to say which F-100 mission was the gutsiest and craziest.

RGR 4-78

Rest in Peace.