Member Stories: Speed Check


Brian Shul flew the SR-71 Blackbird for four years while accumulating some 2,000 hours.  In addition to his flying skills, he is an author, photographer and completed a 20-year career in the Air Force retiring as a Major.

Before becoming an SR-71 pilot, he flew 212 combat missions in Vietnam as an attack pilot where he was shot down near the end of the war.  He was nearly burned to death and given next to no chance to live.

He didn’t die and initially spent two months of intense emergency care at Kadena Air Base where he lost almost one-third of his body weight during the treatment.

He was shipped me back to Fort Sam, Houston, Texas, which is the main burns center. He spent a year there going through 15 surgeries.

After surprising everyone by recovering from his injuries, he was able to pass a flight physical which was administered by the Chief of Aerospace Medicine.  With his flight status restored he went on to fly the A10, A7, F5, and then applied to fly the SR-71.

The combination of flying skill coupled with his personal determination and physical stamina enabled Brian to not only pass the SR-71 physical, but to obtain one of the highest scores ever, according to the administering physician.

Whenever Brian Shul speaks, he shares his experience regarding one of his mission flights.  The following is an audio report of that talk.


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