John, no, he doesn't have a military background, but he did start flying the P-51 at quite a young age. He, along with other airshow acts, certainly performs with military precision (as practiced over, and over again).
At one time I wasn't a fan of the aircraft, just going by the basis of the paint scheme that was dreamed up for it, but after listening to Scott's dad, Bill Yoak, describe the restoration and the meaning behind each individual aspect of the markings, I have since had a tremendous level of respect for Bill and Scott and the aircraft. Bill and Scott, father and son, restored the aircraft, and the aircraft was assembled from all NAA produced parts and skins, wherever possible, with very, very little of anything being newly manufactured, from numerous different sources. The metal work and craftsmanship on the aircraft is second to none.
There was a great film that I caught on one of the PBS channels about a year ago or so, that was filmed at Oshkosh 2007, that followed Bill and Scott Yoak bringing the aircraft to the show for the first time, and it also being the first time that Scott flew the aircraft during an air show display. (This was the same year that Gerry Beck lost his life in the landing accident in his P-51A, and this film included that, and it was quite remarkable seeing the effects of something like that on the fellow warbird and display pilots at the time, and their emotions and reflections as they continued to go about their business the next day, to go out and fly and display, after having lost such a close friend)
BTW, Scott went to college for Aeronautics, and has an A&P and IA license. While in school he got his pilot ratings and checked out in the P-51 at age 20 (which, if I recall correctly, he was the youngest P-51 pilot for a short time, before Steve Hinton Jr. soloed at age 18 in the P-51), and was actually a qualified instructor in the AT-6 even before that.
Love that paint scheme... almost as much as your FF-902 Bomber! It may not be period authentic, but it is conservative and works really well with the lines of the 'Stang.
I agree and have wondeered why it hasn't been painted yet? I would do it but I haven't mastered doing curves in APS yet.
My father-in-law, Major L.P. Dolan retired USAF, traveled to this show at Reading. He is 89 years and a World War II vet. He flew Mustangs out of Iwo Jima over Japan during Spring and Summer, 1945. He said he enjoyed the show, but it was nothing like the real thing when he was fighting. That is the most that he would say, he doesn't speak of those times in any detail. Another quiet hero.
ATC USN Ret
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