I was recently contacted by an individual who told me about a personal letter he had received from Hoot Gibson back in 1983. I thought I would share Hoot’s letter with you. But first a little background.
Hoot was well known in aviation circles after his experience with TWA 841. His notoriety increased more broadly after the airing of the CBS documentary The Plane That Fell From The Sky. The documentary painted the crew in a favorable light, as a crew wrongly accused. Some people who saw the documentary wrote to Hoot to offer words of encouragement. Hoot would often write responses to the letters he received. He actually wrote this letter while on a
In May of 1983, Hoot testified in the civil trial of Holly Wicker. The CBS documentary aired in July of 1983. This letter was written in October of 1983, almost five years after the incident. You can sense in the letter the anger and frustration Hoot carried with him on a daily basis. Things were weighing heavily on Hoot during this time. A few weeks after writing this letter Hoot requested a medical leave from TWA. It would be almost three years before he would fly again as a TWA pilot.
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Emilio, this was so good to read. Hoot & Scott are both gone now — but I still long to see them vindicated. Don’t stop doing what you are doing! — Roger Peterson, TWA 841, Seat 21A
Kevin P Gibson
It is good to know you are alive and active. I am disabled through a Stroke a few years ago but, manage to get along. Thank’s for believing in the crew of TWA 841. Hoot and Scott are beyond the veil but, more to be done. Thank you for being a True Friend and brother too. Kevin Paul Gibson
Kevin P Gibson
Thanks again for your thoughtfulness as this story is “ancient”. Though reading my dad’s words you could sense his emotional turmoil he was going through. Evan the Air Canada flight has him biting the bullet. Well, I imagine he is in a better place now. Thank you for all your service in this nearly 42 years old aviation drama. It would make quite the Movie. Actually my father’s life would make a block buster movie. Every emotion imaginable would be used to portray Hoot’s legacy. To the man that loved aviation. He was a Pilot’s Pilot as they say. I miss him dearly. Kevin Paul Gibson