View Full Version : Bearcat N7700C

02-16-2006, 05:24 AM
Hello All ..

I have a slide taken of this Bearcat in 1967 here at Barnes in Westfield Ma... Looking online I found it crashed in May/71...

Was this Bearcat ever a racer ?


02-16-2006, 04:57 PM

Corky Fornof's old bird.

I believe he went in with her at an airshow in NAS Quonset Point, RI, June 5, 1971

W J Pearce
02-16-2006, 08:31 PM
I think the below is correct. My apologies if it is not.

I think Crokey Fornof is still around and he flew N700A.

His father Bill flew N7700C.

And sadly yes, Bill did go in in 1971

In "Round-Engine Racers: BearCats & Corsairs" (Racplane Tech Vol. 2) there is no list of N7700C or BulNo. 121608 racing.

02-16-2006, 09:15 PM
Sweet, lots of great info. :thumbsup:

02-16-2006, 09:27 PM
Corky visits the site once in a while, hopefully, he'll read this and chime in...


02-16-2006, 09:55 PM
The NTSB report says it came apart while in flight (wing separation during a low pass), but it doesn't provide any details beyond that such as whether it was overstressed or just metal fatigue.



02-17-2006, 06:50 AM
All .....

Thanks for the input, I didn't realize that it was those 2 Bearcats ....

I will see if I can get the slide scanned and share the shot here ...




02-17-2006, 07:20 AM
I read in an article by Corky that the theory was he flew thru wind shear (a "microburst") and the wing spar was overstressed. Corky was in formation with him at the time.
Supposedly a Blue Angel had a similiar encounter the same airshow and the aircraft was lost but I hav'nt verified that elsewhere.
His description of the Blues saluting him as he taxied out to go home is very touching.
The article chronicled some of his exploits, quite a story.

02-17-2006, 04:26 PM
I wonder if they all went to special school to fly formation with the Blues. Oh yeah, back then they just made decisions based on reality and did the cool stuff. Probably Dick Schramm?

Mike Hewlett
10-02-2006, 11:28 PM
Sorry this is so late -- just stumbled across your site.

I was at the air show at NAS Quonset Point, RI when Bill Fornof was lost in his Bearcat. Corky was flying very tight on his wing as they performed a beautiful barrel roll while heading north. A steep climb to bleed airspeed, and a tight turn followed to head south, and then a dive to accelerate. They must have been pushing 400 knots when suddenly the wing (right, if memory serves me) departed the aircraft. Corky's plane was hit by debris, but no serious damage.

Somewhere buried in slides, I have a photo of Corky's Bearcat as he taxied back to the line and shut down right in front of me. There were several dings on the leading edges of his wings, but I don't remember anything more significant.


08-13-2007, 02:41 PM
I knew Bill in Houma, La, where he owned the Cadillac dealership. I personally saw the bearcat after it was painted. Bill taught Corky to fly soon after he finished high school..... ]
Bill had an old black guy that drove his Cadillac Convertable to all of the shows that Bill was flying. He left early, and Bill used to tell him, he would skin him if he was not awaiting bill with his favorite Cigar. He was a cocky guy, but nice. He divorced Corky's Mom and married Mona, shortly before he died. I think his wife lived in So. Mississippi before Katrina hit there.......I lost track of Corky shortly after Bill was killed.
Bill was a great pilot, and gutsy as well....

10-05-2011, 06:42 AM
Hello there everyone. I am new to this forum due to this post. I am building a scale model of Corkey Fornof's bearcat and I was wondering if anyone has any old pictures they could share with me. It is so hard to find photo's online of these birds. Bill or Corkey's doesnt really matter they both were just about identical. Thanks