The old black and white Sky King TV shows inspired a lot of aviation careers, from pilots and flight instructors to airline pilots and NASA astronauts. But you probably don’t know that Kirby Grant Hoon appeared in more than 65 movies under a variety of names and began his career as a musician and singer in the 1930’s
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From: glenn E Kresge
I grew up in the 1950’s, and I was a devout Sky King fan! I had to get all my chores done on Saturday Morning before I was allowed to watch Sky King which aired at 12:00 P.M. Noon time. My Dad was a licensed pilot and flight Instructor-so I love to fly, and learned to fly at a very young age by my Dad’s instructions. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away from a heat attack when I was 16. I would always watch Sky King every time it aired. I watched that show up until it was taken off the air in 1966. I watch it again when it aired in 1987-88 on CBN. I was planning to meet Kirby Grant in 1985. However, he was killed on October 30, 1985, while driving to the space shuttle launch on state route 50. I was deeply sadden that I would never meet him as planned. I was able to converse with many people who knew Kirby Grant personally. They stated he was everything and more then what he portrayed as Sky King. One of these persons who was very good friends with Kirby was the late Guy Maher, who just died in an airplane crash last month. Guy stated Kirby Grant flew with him many times and was a pilot. Guy owned a Cessna 310. He stated Kirby had over 5,000 hours in twin engine operations. However, no FAA records can be found on Kirby. Moreover, other well know pilots have no records on file either from that era either. Guy Maher stated Kirby Grant was the real deal and a genuine good guy who like to help people. Kirby actually spent time at Guy Maher’s home in N.C. Guy first met Kirby in northern N.J. when he was a teenager. Kirby was signing autographs at a N.J. Mall. Guy was working at a music store, and Kirby came in to buy some sheet music. He stated Kirby and him ended singing and playing the piano. Guy stated that his friendship lasted until Kirby’s death in October 30, 1985. Now unfortunately both are gone. Both killed in accidents. Guy Maher was nice enough to give me a photographs of Kirby Grant. And share his firsthand experiences flying with Kirby. I also have a DVD of Guy and Kirby flying the last 310 Cessna made when Guy visited Kirby in Florida.
Saturday, May 19th, we sold and signed several copies of Out of the Blue at the 8th annual Armed Forces Day Fly-In at the Marianna Municipal Airport (KMAI). We got to meet and talk with several Sky King fans, and shared memories of the classic television show of the 1950’s and 60’s. At the left are pictures of the table display. We’ve been invited to other airshows in the Southeast, so you may see us at a future event.
It was great to see a Cessna 310-D attending the event and we spoke for a few minutes with the pilot from Alabama who had recently restored it. The paint job looked great!
My own flight instructor, Ron Jarmon, from Island Air Express Flight School in Panama City, Florida flew in with a Cessna Symphony before flying on to Blountstown to ferry a twin aircraft to Tallahassee.
The Sky King book is finally here!
The printed edition of Out of the Blue: The Life and Legend of Kirby ‘Sky King’ Grant is now available at Amazon.com at an introductory price of just $12.95 plus shipping (or FREE shipping with your Amazon Prime!)
We’ve even added more information and details since the last revision of the e-book version. If you bought the e-book version be sure to download the new version.
If you were waiting for the printed version to revisit the world of Sky King, Penny, her bother “Clipper” along with Grover County sheriff Mitch, and all the airplanes in the 1950s television show, it’s finally here, including quite a few color photos. Own this little piece of aviation television history!
We’ve spoken to a lot of people who told us that their aviation career was influenced or inspired by the Sky King television show. We heard from one person who told us he grew up watching the Sky King shows on Saturday mornings and went on to a 22 year career in Air Traffic Control.
(To that ATC person who filled out our survey: Can you please contact us again?)
Please fill out our SURVEY if your aviation experience was influenced by the Sky King television show!
(Featured photo courtesy of a member of the Kirby Grant family)
When Bill Fergusson was National Sales Manager for the Cessna 310, he was called into Cessna boss Bob Chatley’s office to discuss a new marketing opportunity to help promote Cessna’s new twin aircraft. Little did he realize he was about to have a brush with Hollywood fame as Sky King’s “accidental” stunt pilot. Continue reading “Sky King’s “accidental” stunt pilot.”
The WACO biplane was said by some to be the plane that Kirby “Sky King” Grant learned to fly, instructed by “barnstormers” in the 1920’s. One online report says that Kirby Grant “got his license” from the FAA in 1929.
Continue reading “The WACO Bi-Plane”
In late April, 2017, I headed to Indiana to meet with Steve and Amy Brown who run the Brown Flying School, operating out of Sky King Airport (3I3) near Terre Haute, Indiana. The airport was built by Steve’s father, Herman, some 55 years ago, in April of 1962.
Continue reading “Sky King Airport in Indiana”