The first Learjet 28 Longhorn (Serial Number 28-001) cruised at 50,000 feet somewhere between Allentown, Pa., and Mattoon, Ill., when the thought hit me. The late Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, had flown this same airplane and here I was riding in the cabin.
The passing of Neil Armstrong comes as a shock. Surely the first human to set foot on another celestial body would never succumb to something as predictable and inevitable as mortality? But succumb he did, last Saturday (August 25), from complications following cardiovascular procedures.
Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, died Saturday of complications from heart surgery. Besides serving as a NASA astronaut, Armstrong was a project pilot on many pioneering high-speed aircraft, including the Mach 5 North American X-15. During his career, he piloted more than 200 different aircraft types, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders. Armstrong was also an aerospace engineer and university professor.