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
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