- 90 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 8, 1922
- Date of passing: Jan 20, 2013
This memorial website was created in the memory of Lou Fields, 90, born on August 8, 1922 and passed away on January 20, 2013. We hope you can help us document the people who he has influenced during his life.
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"Oh my god. I flew with Lou a lot. He taught me flying aerobatics in the Pitts Special. And he made fun of my English cause I couldn't pronounce Mount Tamalpaias on the radio. I just got right side up and and they asked me where I was and Lou said Tell them Mount Tamalpaias and I had no idea what it was and wanted to escape in an inverted flat spin and he just laughed and asked me .. how long have you been living here? And I said, yes, 'Mount Papamya' .. whatever .. and he laughed and asked me to go inverted again which I did and I said to myself ... wtf .. and he asked me what my religion was and I said Roman Catholic and he laughed again and I lied the big way cause I thought he was Italian but I guess he was not and I missed so I pulled the Pitts into vertical and he said .. yeah .. Roman Catholic and I felt so bad.
Lou was a good man. He was a great pilot. But he was interested more in the OJ trial than me, listening to it even when I was recovering from spins. I thought it was rude cause I was a Czech Airforce officer and I demanded proper respect. But he just sat there behind me .. totally relaxed.. pointing at my flaws. He was good. He was really good. This old man kept rolled sectional maps in his hand and tapped my right or left sholder based how the ball was positioned. I hated that. Because he had always been correct.
Lou was a good man. And I liked him. I think that he was a little bit better than I was. Just a little bit. Gosh, that man was good .. although I would love to shoot him down in a dog fight. That's how good Lou really was."
"I first learned to fly with Lou's son Bud back in the 80's but later transitioned to Lou to learn aerobatic flying. He later taught me formation flying and formation aerobatics which I loved, however hanging out in his office and chatting about any subject was almost as enjoyable. He once remarked his job was the same as a Neurosurgeon...connecting a student's brain to his feet. Eventually I purchased a Pitts S2B and did well at competitions but due to later obligations I hung up my hat and sold the Pitts to Lou. Lou was a lovable character and I'm sure all the animals he rescued loved him as well as all his students. RIP Lou"
"I was a British Airways captain in my mid-forties when I converted to the 747 and started flying to SFO. I had decided to try and improve my basic aerobatic skills and asked my flight engineer (also a flying instructor) if he knew anyone in the area who would give me some training.
"Lou Fields" he replied, "He's 72 years old, but what he doesn't know about aeros isn't worth knowing." So it was that I breezed up at Oakland and introduced myself. For 3 years I was a regular visitor, until SFO dropped off the roster and, although I more often flew with Bill Berggran, it was always a joy to spend some time in Lou's company. He was an absolute inspiration - and not just as a pilot - to me as he quite obviously was to many others.
I have only just become aware of his passing, but he enjoyed a long life well lived, and I am glad he won't suffer the indignities that further old age would have brought - he would have hated it. God bless, Lou."
"I didn't know Lou that long, but cherish the time. He let me wrestle his Champ through the tailwheel process. It's hard to make a Champ fall out of the sky, but harder to fly it well. I was happy he was pleased with the BFRs we flew (in C172s). He could take as much time as he liked in the ground aspect as far as I was concerned. I'm proud to have met him. Every occasion was memorable. Before I was flying with him we met outside the Alameda Aero Club one morning. I was planning to go to VNY. The conditions were marginal VFR. He suggested that he hoped I had a good Wx briefing. I thought I had and a feasible Plan B. As it happened I flew out from under the overcast at South County. Coming back was a different adventure - Santa Ana conditions."
"Today may mark the day we lost Lou but certainly not the only day I think of him and miss him. Like so many aviation friends of Lou we miss him every-time we go to North Field, when I see a taildragger, when I need a friend to talk to ,or when I need a refresher on the "white board".
Lou never tired of flying, and most of all teaching all things aviation. He was tireless. How I miss our flying around the patch and making up games to challenge ourselves in his Champ 852. Lou was the kind of person you miss More not less as time passes. Lou was my Hero."
"I can't believe you're gone, Lou! I guess I thought you would just live forever. I sure hoped you would... For all the wise words and amazing stories... For loving animals and sharing Champ with the north field ... For giving my (now) husband his first piloting experience... For having a hangar that rivaled my own dad's... For being there to get me over to the old Ts after my dad died...Thank you. You were one in a bazillion and I am so sorry I didn't realize how, truly, time is a pilot too. From the surly bonds of earth - Cheers and farewell... Say hey to my pops. I dare you to get him to dance on laughter silvered wings. Much love to you and your amazing family. I cannot express how sad I am to have missed your last take off. Your presence always kept OAK feeling like home."
"I met Lou in 1980, when I moved to Alameda and purchased my Santana 22 to race. I raced against him many times and raced with him once. My office has been in the Alameda Marina since 1992 and I regularly drove by his boat, Buffalo Honey. We lost touch over the years. He was a very special person. I miss him."
"I met Lou back in the 90's when I worked for KaiserAir. Lou was one of those people you liked the instant you met him. I did my single and multi check rides with Lou and he made sure it was a learning experience not just a test. I'll never forget a time when he had a problem on a Pitts flight and he asked me for insight. There will always be a special place in my heart for Lou Fields."
"What a great guy. Godspeed my friend !"
"He taught me things I still hear in my head: "Don't volunteer ANYthing!" on oral exams. "Pitch and power", landing the Champ. And my favorite, "The centerline's just as wide..." when I complained about a small runway. God rest your soul, Lou; you gave us SO much!"
"I met Lou in the late eighties while I was teaching at Oakland Airport, and learned tailwheel flying and aerobatics at his school, later becoming an instructor there. For about seven years I saw him nearly every day, and I don't remember ever seeing him in other than a good mood. He always had a joke and a story to tell. Blue Skies, Lou..."
"A new CFI, sent my first applicant for a Private Pilot license to Lou in 1990. The oral took four hours, and they pushed the flight back a day. I called Lou, "why did the oral take so long"? "Well, if you had prepared him better it wouldn't have taken so damn long"! He was the best...."
"Met Lou in 1990, he did most of my flight reviews over the years, we spent most of half a day learning every time I flew with him I also got my tail drager, high perfomance and complex endorsements with him, as well as a bunch of aerobatic training and fun flights.
Most memorable day was in the Champ, when we took off and landed on Oaklands six runways, 27/ 9 L & R, 33&15."
"I haven't known Lou all that long on the scale of his long life. But I can say I relished the time I spent with him doing tail dragger training and hanging out discussing topics of mutual interest. I respected most about Lou his never ending thirst to understand things better, his inquisitive mind, and young attitude! I will honor Lou by striving for this in my time left on this earth."
"In October of 1993, I returned to flying after a 19 year hiatus. Everyone I spoke with recommended Lou. He was the perfect choice to bring me back up to speed. He taught me, once again, to "Get the picture" while flying. Rest in peace Lou and because of you, I got the picture. Aviation has lost a legend and we all have lost a great human being."
"The best thing about visiting Oakland Airport was seeing Lou. Without Lou, the airport will never be the same for me. I am sending my Buddhist prayers so that Lou can find peace."
"Lou was definitely one of a kind. He provided an encouraging, unique place for us to fly, tell hanger stories and hang out in general. I took my private pilots test with him. On the day of he showed up wearing a ski mask. Looked like he was going to rob a bank. I figured it was a distraction test. Ignored it best I could and passed my test. He's probably stil telling God stories now."
"In 1958,we pilots in USN Fighter Squadron VF-53, had just received brand new McDonnell F3H Demon all-weather fighters. Along with the planes, we also got a brand new skipper- Lou Fields. The airplane was prone to engine failure and terribly underpowered. Lou brought with him an attitude and we soon believed that lousy airplane could do anything. We all loved our new C.O."
"It's hard to believe Lou is gone. I flew with him back in the early 80's, taught me the finer points of handling a tail-wheel airplane and Areobatics. An outstanding instructor and and person. You will be missed. The aviation community has lost one of the greats. Godspeed Lou..."
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