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Wed, Aug 03, 2022

Remembering Jack Hooker

The Exercise of Restraint

Modern aircraft are complex aggregations of individual systems—some of which capture pilots’ attention and command their awe, others of which pilots ignore in perpetuity—after the fashion of cops presented with excuses for speeding.

Any Zivko Edge 540 pilot can and will pridefully prattle on about the prowess of his machine’s 310-horsepower Lycoming AEIO-540-EXP engine, or the supremacy of its John Roncz symmetrical wings. Asked, however, about the safety-harness that keeps him from cracking his skull against his 540’s canopy at the apogee of an inverted loop, and that same Zivko pilot is apt to come up tongue-tied. 

Safety-harnesses—like cockpit seat-rails, power-lever friction-locks, and wing ice-lights—are among the prosaic components that silently and stalwartly keep pilots on the right side of the grass over which they fly. Like potable water, aircraft safety-harness are easy to disregard right up to the moment the need for such waxes acute. 

Among the world’s very best safety-harnesses are those produced by Hooker Harness, the Illinois-based concern founded in the early 1970s. The last half-century has seen the company evolve into arguably the world’s most widely-known and respected producer of aerobatic seatbelts and shoulder-harnesses. 

From its inception, Hooker Harness has painstakingly turned-out custom-made harnesses of exceeding quality, consistency, and ruggedness. The company maintains an FAA-approved quality control system that’s monitored and audited by the agency on a routine basis. 

In light of all Hooker Harness’s excellent work and meaningful contributions to aviation safety, it is with great sadness that Aero News commemorates company founder Jack Hooker.

Hooker Harness manager Scott McPhillips states: “He loved the people, loved the aircraft. This was all he wanted to do. Even when he retired, he couldn’t stop being here.”

Celebrating his business and the aviation community was an important part of Mister Hooker’s life.

“I think he was a very giving person, a very social person,” remarked Grant Hastings, a friend of Hooker’s. “He was very influential; he knew everybody through his harness company, and always brought a keg of beer to share. He was able to provide a meeting point, a catalyst for everyone to meet everyone. I think the legacy he leaves behind is a component of community, of getting together.”

The whole of the aviation community mourns Jack Hooker’s passing, while acknowledging and celebrating his immeasurable contributions to pilot safety, and the exhilarating sport of aerobatics. 

FMI: www.hookerharness.com

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