Brian Shul, SR-71 Blackbird Pilot - Sled Driver
November 21, 2009
After 20 years as an Air Force fighter pilot, Brian Shul today is an accomplished author, speaker, and photographer. In the Viet Nam War, he flew 212 missions before his aircraft was shot down. Unable to eject, he was severely burned in the crash. Rescued by Special Forces, he was given little chance of survival. He spent one year in hospitals enduring 15 reconstructive surgeries and countless hours of physical therapy. Miraculously he was able to return to flying Air Force fighter jets and went on to become an air show demonstration pilot and eventually a TOPGUN instructor.
He culminated his Air Force career by flying our nations premier spy plane, the SR-71. This was a remarkable accomplishment considering that only 93 men in history got to fly this aircraft. Brian flew the Blackbird for 4 years and was the pilot who provided key photos of Kaddafi’s terrorist camps to President Reagan during the Libyan Crisis in 1986.
Brian retired from the Air Force in 1990, and pursued his writing and photography interests. He was the first Blackbird pilot to write a book about flying that plane, illustrated with his own photography. It is today hailed as the definitive essay on the SR-71 and was awarded Aviation Book of the Year by Smithsonian Magazine.
Brian's remarkable comeback story has inspired audiences nationwide and his collection of SR-71 photographs are now considered the rarest in the world.
In the Air Force, Brian flew the T-38, F-5B, A1-E, AT-28D, A-7D, A-10, F-100, and SR-71. He is currently President of Gallery One in Marysville, CA
Other Ways to Connect with this Organization:
- Amy Dabalos and The Vibrant Things at San Pedro Square Market
- Mommy and Me Kid'sClub - 2nd Tuesdays at Santana Row
- Russell Peters at San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
- Shannon Curtis... Music and More - Concert and Discussion at Mountain View Public Library
- Kristi Yamaguchi and Brian Boitano's Golden Moment - Figure Skating Show at SAP Center
- Within and Without... Transformations in Chinese Landscapes - Exhibition at Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
- Halloween Family Fun Fest
- Singin' in the Rain at Lincoln Black Box Theatre
- Oprah's The Life You Want Weekend at SAP Center
- The New Landscape... Experiments in Light by Gyorgy Kepes - Exhibition at Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University