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In Memoriam

Neil R. Anderson

Neil R. Anderson

17 September 2006

Neil R. Anderson, long-time F-16 test and demonstration pilot, died 17 September in Fort Worth, Texas. He was seventy-two. Anderson flew more than 250 airplane types in his career and amassed approximately 15,000 hours flight time. He is most remembered for making a belly landing in the YF-16 prototype on 8 May 1975. His engineering and flying career with General Dynamics and later with Lockheed Martin extended from 1967 to 1996. He entered the Marine Corps as a pilot, flying active duty for five years until 1958. He then joined the reserves, eventually retiring in 1974 as a lieutenant colonel. He earned a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1961 from St. Louis University.

Visitor Comments

A Good Man, a Great Pilot, will be missed by many.
Robert A. Gritta, Jr / Ft. Worth, TX, Jun 24, 2007 - 07:54 PM

The Gritta Family sends deepest sympathy to the Anderson Family with Neil's passing. My first flight in a lightplane was with the Andersons in a Cessna 210 back in the early 70's. I flew right front on a leg and held the checklist for Mr. Anderson and thought I was a real pilot. We met in 1966, and one of Neils sons and I were close in age and we were friends for quite a few years up thru flight school in college. Neil had an extremely interesting career as a Marine fighter pilot, followed by some Atlas missile work, then with GD/FW on the F-111 and F-16 programs, and also some great warbird flying-including Reno. I am a better person for having known Neil and his Family, God Bless and Godspeed to all.

Super Guy
Ztex, Nov 14, 2007 - 05:25 AM

I met Mr. Anderson when he test flew an F-86 for the Texas Air Command Museum. He was a gentleman and a truly nice guy to all those around him.

I had the privilege of strapping him in the F-86 one day. I was just a nobody and he treated me like he had known me forever.

He will be missed.

Zane Adams

My Mintor
alex, Aug 16, 2008 - 09:00 AM

I meet neil when i was a little boy and i was around hem alot because of my dad they both built owned an t28 together neil was the best pilot i have ever meet but most of all he was like a dad to me he showed me how to fly and im still doing it to day for the navy every time im up there i think about how this one man changed my life and helped me become who i am today i dont think the world is the same with out hem so think you neil for what you have done for me and i say to you

Godspeed Neil

Fondly remembered
Jamal A. Khan, Aug 25, 2009 - 05:02 PM

Early one morning in July 1981, Niel picked me up in his car from my hotel in Fort Worth and we talked all the way to the nearby air base about cars and a spare part he needed for the restored Hawker Fury that he flew as an enthusiast. Niel and I flew an F-16 for the next two days including weapon delivery,and I was greatly impressed by his professionalism and interesting experiences as a test pilot. We remained good friends for many years afterwards until I retired.

I found him to be a great human being,an endearing friend and an exceptional professional. He offered many valuable suggestions in making it possible for the Pakistan Air Force (to which I belonged) to induct the F-16 in a record-making twelve months after those two introductory flights. We remain in debt to Niel for that and for his friendship. May God bless him and grant him many happy flights.

Roger Latham, Sep 07, 2009 - 10:22 PM

In the mid-90's Neil let me fly his first T28. I was signed off for solo, but of course that couldn't happen. He and I flew several times in the Marchetti Sf260, and my Bellancas.

Good lad
Nouri, Oct 18, 2012 - 12:32 PM

As a Parks graduate, I had the honor and joy to meet and speak with Neil Anderson back in 1992 on campus. He told me that he became a big star in the former USSR right after '89, and he was invited there and offered the opportunity to fly with any Russian jets he wanted to for as long as he wanted to. And so he did; he flew on many different jets (and mainly Mig 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25, 27, Sukhois etc...) and said the one he found to the most aerodynamically stable of ALL aircrafts he ever flew in his entire life was... the Mig 21.

Neil Anderson
Jay, Jun 21, 2019 - 05:42 AM

I personally knew Neil and like everyone who ever met him, enjoyed his company and I still quote some of the things we discussed.. I am sure Neil has a special place in Heaven.

Mr. Neil Anderson
al moreno, Jul 03, 2019 - 10:47 PM

Neil a friend i shall always remember. Thanks for the drinks after your crash in Reno....ribs that hurt but still accepted my hug... God Bless

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