The Life and Legend of Kirby “Sky King” Grant.

by Tim Trott



Do you remember the Sky King TV show? Do you know who flew the plane for the TV shows? Was Kirby Grant a “real” pilot? How many different “Songbird” planes were there? What happened to the “missing episodes”? What did Kirby Grant do after the TV series ended? Did you know that Kirby Grant was a musician?

Those of us of a certain age grew up with the Sky King television show. The old black and white TV shows inspired a lot of aviation careers, from pilots and flight instructors to airline pilots and NASA astronauts.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kirby Grant and his wife after they retired to Central Florida in 1971.  Visiting their home shortly after his heart surgery in 1978, Kirby mentioned me about the book he was “writing”, taking the title “Out of the Blue” from the iconic opening of the television show.  It was only much later after Kirby’s passing in 1986 that I learned from his wife, Carolyn Grant, that the “book” had existed only in Kirby’s mind and good intentions. This book is the fulfillment of a promise to Carolyn Grant to complete that book.

The title includes the word “legend” because much of what has been written about Sky King has taken on a kind of mythology, and much that is “known” turns out to be fable. We will clear up some of those myths in this book and possibly reveal a few secrets.

One thing that made Kirby Grant a real legend was his dedication to the responsibility of upholding the traditions and values of the “white hat” that he proudly wore in the TV show as well as to all of his public appearances, as we will learn. I hope you enjoy the story of the life and legend of Kirby “Sky King” Grant, the TV hero of generations of aviators, who found inspiration in the adventures of the flying cowboy rancher who came “Out of the Blue of the Western Sky.”


Kathleen A. Knott rated it:  amazing  · 
The legend lives on: Saturday at 12:00 noon it was time for Sky King. This book is a must-have for fans of this show. Kirby gave me and thousands of other kids a lifetime love of aviation.
Michael A. Simmons, Sr. rated it: Really liked it
What you need to know about the man and the series.

Jim Carone–Capt. rated it: Listing of all his movie appearances–listing of all the episodes with description.–list of all the aircraft used with details. I talked to him about this when he toured Illinois. He told me no one would be interested in this. I told him they would. Lets prove him wrong on this. Thank you Mr. grant for bringing me into the world of aviation for the rest of my life.
Rose Schnitzke rated it: Very informative. The book reviews all of the episodes and brings back many great memories.

Robert L  rated it: Great Book
When I heard this book was available I purchased right away and can say I am not disappointed. It brought back memories of those Saturday mornings watching Sky King on the old black and white TV. This book has many fascinating facts about my childhood (and nothing has changed 60+ years later) hero. Tim Trott did an excellent job and I am sure Kirby Grant is extremely pleased with this book. Anyone who grew up with Sky King this book is an absolute must! Wonderful book.

Find it now at:
Amazon/Kindle, Barnes and Nobles/Nook,
iTunes, Kobo , Apple iBook, Monadori,
Angus and Robertson, Indigo, and more.

(Cover photo: Songbird III at Oshkosh, WI, photo by and courtesy of
David Vanderhoof of The UAV Digest Podcast/)