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Funflyer
12-25-2008, 09:00 AM
WIX is reporting that Lefty has left us yesterday. Thanks for the memories Lefty. Rad

J.SMITH
12-25-2008, 09:52 AM
Very sorry to hear this. He was a Great enterainer and a great man. My prayers are with the Gardner Family

Lockheed Bob
12-25-2008, 10:22 AM
Blue skies "Lefty". Thanks for all the great flying over the years. My prayers & thoughts are with the family.I'm glad I have the "Sky Fire" film on him as I've watched it many times.

AAFO_WSagar
12-25-2008, 10:43 AM
I recieved this from a mutual friend... perhaps reading these words will make those who knew and loved him feel better about his passing...

"Heard from Ladd this morning. He passed peacefully in his sleep. Services Monday, Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville, TX."

Lefty will now always fly the birds he wants, as low or high has he wants to! Every time the engines start on his beloved "White Lightnin'" turn over, no matter who she belongs to or what she looks like, Lefty will have his hand on the throttles...

He will be greatly missed by all who he touched. Our thoughts and prayers for his family.

Blue Skies Lefty!

Jim58
12-25-2008, 11:06 AM
Sorry to see him leave the party.....Blessings for the family.....I will raise a glass for him later today....Thanks for all the memories.

RRMERLIN7
12-25-2008, 03:33 PM
My Prayers go out to the family

Sorry To Hear to hear that but on the Brighter side

Reno is going to be very interesting upstairs next year!!

MikeS
12-25-2008, 05:56 PM
Wow - I have a lot of memories that fly with Lefty at the controls. Adding my prayers to those already posted for the family and friends.

AirDOGGe
12-25-2008, 07:08 PM
I'm glad he got to see ol' White Lightning re-built into a brand new P-38 once again before he left us. Regardless of who owns or flies her now, she'll always be Lefty's plane to me.

Blue skys, Mr. Gardner...Reno never would have been the same without you and WL tearing up the skies.

Peace be with you.

Hawker Driver
12-25-2008, 09:04 PM
I would like to add my condolences to the Gardners and wish him Blue Skies. I had the privilege to know him for many years and to fly with him.
He will always be a legend in my mind as he was the first "Colonel" I met at an airshow many years ago in San Marcos, Texas after performing in the White Lighting.......

Lynn

EastCoastFan
12-27-2008, 08:40 AM
I never had the good fortune of seeing Lefty race or fly an aerobatic demonstration in White Lightning. I did however attend a symposium that he had in the Washington, D.C. area when I was in high school as a young aspiring aviator. He was speaking to general aviation pilots at an FAA aviation safety briefing. He shared many stories of flying the P-38. I will never forget the advice he gave us pilots: Approach flying by keeping your attitude in the red zone. Keep your head on a swivel. If you become too comfortable in the cockpit and allow yourself to drift into a "green" comfort zone, that's when things will go wrong and you won't be in the right frame of mind to react and rely on the things you were taught.

Lefty was a great man, and a great "stick". He will truly be missed by many in the aviation community in general. My thoughts and prayers are with the Gardner family.

Godspeed Colonel!!

440_Magnum
12-27-2008, 11:01 AM
I saw the obituary in the Austin paper this morning. I only met Lefty in passing at air shows many years ago, but the enduring impression, and the one conveyed by the memorial text, is of a man who was an amazing character in all aspects of his life.

Blue skies, Lefty. And deepest condolences to the Gardner family.

hm66sk
12-27-2008, 11:09 AM
Sad news indeed. Great guy, great pilot. He will be missed. :sad:

aerojock
12-27-2008, 11:37 AM
I'm glad he got to see ol' White Lightning re-built into a brand new P-38 once again before he left us. Regardless of who owns or flies her now, she'll always be Lefty's plane to me.

Blue skys, Mr. Gardner...Reno never would have been the same without you and WL tearing up the skies.

Peace be with you.

Was this in person or via video. I thought I read that he did not get to see the 38 fly. I had hoped he would.


Jim

AAFO_WSagar
12-27-2008, 11:45 AM
http://p38whitelightnin.com/

Was initially a site with the goal of helping get the airplane back in the air while in the Gardner family... it will probably live on as a tribute to the man and his airplanes..

Wayne Sagar

PS.. some video there as well..

Frank C.
12-27-2008, 11:50 AM
Blue skies forever Lefty. Thanks for all the great shows and racing. I am sure you will show up in Reno every year in spirit. Stay low, go fast, and turn left.

Frank C.

smokeyjoe
12-29-2008, 02:07 AM
Saw him first in Madera = A Gathering of Warbirds , and

for many years after at the Reno Air Races ! Lefty s

demo was my all time favorite !! Thanks for all the

great years you shared with us ! You are truly missed !

Blue Skies Lefty

Smiley
12-29-2008, 02:36 PM
:sad:
Sure hope there's a P-38 up there for him. The big man will be impressed.
Blue skies...

Bill@Interstell
12-29-2008, 09:16 PM
Great stick... great human being.

Although I saw Lefty fly many times at Reno, my fondest memory is from Phoenix. I went with my son Geoff when he was about 8. Geoff being a huge White Lighting fan, asked me if I thought they would let him polish the plane. I said why don't you go ask?

This little red haired kid walked up to Lefty and asked if he could help polish. Lefty said sure kid and lifted him up to sit on the wing. He spent most of the afternoon up there waxing everything he could reach. At the end of the day Lefty signed a lithograph for him as "payment".

The Gardners made some friends for life that day. Lefty will be missed.

Blue Skies Lefty

AAFO_WSagar
12-29-2008, 09:21 PM
They really are a special family!

:thumbsup:

Wayne Sagar

AlisoBob
01-27-2009, 07:38 PM
Lefty said sure kid and lifted him up to sit on the wing. He spent most of the afternoon up there waxing everything he could reach.

Great story....

See ya' Lefty...... Happy Allisons..... forever.