Gene Soucy is an American aerobatics pilot. The son of 2 pilots, he would wash airplanes at a local airport in exchange for flight time while growing up in Kentucky. He soloed in a glider at age 14, and in a regular airplane at 16.
Soucy began flying professionally in airshows in 1968, and in 1972 qualified for a place on the U.S. aerobatics team. That year he was the youngest competitor flying at the World championships in England. He placed 6th overall, and contributed to the U.S. team winning the World championship for the first time.
Eagles Aerobatic Team
In 1971, he partnered with Charlie Hillard and Tom Poberezny to form the Red Devils Aerobatic Team, flying the Pitts Special. In 1979, aircraft designer Frank Christensen invited the team to test fly a new aerobatic aircraft he had designed: the Christen Eagle. The Devils were so impressed that they switched their team aircraft to the Eagle, and renamed the Red Devils to the Eagles Aerobatic Team, with Hillard as the lead pilot. The Eagles Aerobatic Team would fly together for more than 25 years, and 1000 performances, setting a record for the longest running aerobatic team with the same members.
During his career with the Eagles, Soucy began to develop a new aircraft to fly in airshows. He had a Grumman Ag Cat cropduster modified for a Wing walking act, and named the aircraft the Showcat. His partner and girlfriend Teresa Stokes performs as the wing walker while Soucy takes the Showcat through various aerobatic maneuvers. The Showcat is also configured with pyrotechnics, used as part of a nighttime aerobatic show. After the Eagles team disbanded in 1995, Soucy began performing solo aerobatic in an Extra 300S, in addition to his Showcat performances.
In 2002, he began to show signs of kidney disease, and in 2003 underwent a kidney transplant. Teresa Stokes was the donor, after Soucy's siblings proved to not be able to donate. He was back flying at airshows 3 months after the operation.
- Lystra, Tony (2007-04-07). "Air Show Pilot Has Attitude at Altitude". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Air Show Performers - Gene Soucy". Experimental Aircraft Association. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Christen Eagle". Retrieved September 26, 2008.
- "Charlie Hillard, Air Show Hall of Fame". Retrieved July 11, 2008.
- "Airshow pilot back in the skies after kidney transplant operation". University of Maryland Medical Center. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- "Gene Soucy Filmography". New York Times. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
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