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  Space Cover 87: X-Plane Pilot and Apollo 16?

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Author Topic:   Space Cover 87: X-Plane Pilot and Apollo 16?

Posts: 458
From: Northville MI USA
Registered: Aug 2005

posted 12-14-2010 04:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for yeknom-ecaps   Click Here to Email yeknom-ecaps     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space Cover of the Week, Week 87 December 12, 2010)

Space Cover #87, X-Plane Pilot and Apollo 16?

Can you name the X-plane pilot that had a non-astronaut role in the Apollo program? X-15 pilots Neil Armstrong and Joe Engle went on to become NASA astronauts. What is not well know is that X-2 pilot Frank "Pete" Everest was involved in the USAF recovery efforts in the final Apollo missions.

Pete Everest assumed command of the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) of the Military Airlift Command, at Scott AFB, Illinois in April 1970. The ARRS provided support aircraft during both the launch and the splashdown phases of space missions. Space cover collectors can find many covers that have been flown by the ARRS crews and documented for the missions. The command of the ARRS, as stated earlier, is located at Scott AFB and was among the ARRS sites listed in the tracking station address list kindly updated and distributed to tracking station collectors by Bob Ekas. For Apollo 16 collectors who sent covers to Scott AFB asking that they be flown aboard an aircraft in support of the Apollo 16 mission got quite a surprise when they were returned after being flown aboard a HH-53 Super Jolly Green Giant helicopter in support of the launch by none other than Pete Everest himself. Interestingly the cover was cancelled in Houston on April 28, 1972 - maybe - being commander of the ARRS he may have been in Houston for post mission review of support activities.

Pete Everest (1920-2004) became known as "the fastest man alive" when, as the first test pilot of the X-2, he flew the plane at Mach 2.97 (1,957 m.p.h.). Named Chief Air Force Test Pilot in 1951, he also flew the X-1, X-4, X-5 and a number of other experimental aircraft. He retired as a Brigadier General. Also the author of a 1958 autobiography, The Fastest Man Alive, Everett is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame.

This is the third Pete Everst flown Apollo 16 cover I've seen so if you find one...


Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 12-14-2010 04:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are NASA photos of Pete Everest greeting the Apollo 15 crew on the recovery carrier when he was in this role. I believe 108-KSC-71P-486 is one such image.


Posts: 599
From: Highlands Ranch, CO USA
Registered: May 2003

posted 12-14-2010 06:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for randyc   Click Here to Email randyc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have that photo signed by the Apollo 15 crew. When I had Dave Scott sign it he pointed out to me that the person greeting them on the deck of the USS Okinawa was Pete Everest.


Posts: 94
From: Douglasville, Ga U.S.A.
Registered: Nov 2009

posted 12-14-2010 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bobslittlebro   Click Here to Email bobslittlebro     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nice cover Tom!


Posts: 2564
From: Netherlands
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 12-15-2010 09:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pete Everest is standing with the Apollo 15 astronauts during recovery operations aboard the USS Okinawa.

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