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We lost one of our legends - Sam Snyder

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We lost one of our legends - Sam Snyder

Old 01-19-2021, 10:02 AM
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S_Ellzey
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Default We lost one of our legends - Sam Snyder

Yesterday we lost one of our legends, and my good friend; Sam Snyder. Sam died after a short medical battle (not Covid).

Sam lived an amazing life, achieving many things that you only see in the movies. He was a Navy pilot, retiring at the rank of Commander. He worked with the US State Department instructing special operations forces for a foreign government, which he had to escape from when the government was basically over thrown by radical forces. He ran a small airline for a while, and started several small companies, all the while remaining a active modeler. Sam held several speed records in control line. Sam and Bob Violet were friends since childhood, growing up in the same town. Bob followed Sam to many events and learned much about modeling from him, and ultimately followed him into the Navy.

Sam did not accept limitations. I was very surprised when Sam told me that he was color blind, I asked how could he have passed the eye exam to be a pilot, his answer; while he was colored blind his "visual acuity" was good enough to read the serial number on the chart, so he just memorized the answers for each chart.

Sam was amazing to listen to, he had many really good tails from his life. He flew AD Skyraiders during most of his Navy life, and lost two of them. One was lost to the armament person on the carrier who set the fuze to point detonate on a bomb that was dropped from 50 feet. Sam's description of limping the aircraft back to the sea and ultimately ditching next to Japanese fishing ship was fun to listen to. The second plane was lost to a maintenance person in California who forgot to safety wire some nuts on the prop pitch control. Sam pick up his plane and was flying it back to his home base when the pitch went to zero. The subsequent landing sounded like something from the movies, he set it down on a stores small parking lot and then rolled on into the woods were he managed to go right between two trees that cut the wings off. After the fuselage came to a stop he walk back to the store and used their phone to call in the problem.

Sam spent one year during the Vietnam war on what we call Special Operations today. He was part an experiment where US officers, from all branches, were put in charge of specially trained South Vietnamese troops. Some of his tails from this year were truly spell binding, with the most memorable being how and why he blew up the Michelin rubber plantation.

Sam returned to flying duties as the commander of an A7 squadron.

There are many great stories from Sam's life, I could be typing all day and not cover them all.

Sam will be missed, he was truly a one of a kind.
The following 3 users liked this post by S_Ellzey:
Afterburners (01-19-2021), Ron S (01-19-2021), u2fast (01-20-2021)
Old 01-19-2021, 10:21 AM
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Sad to hear. He was a helliva modeler, colorful personality and good guy. Really enjoyed him at events, and his videos as well. Always seemed to have such a positive disposition. His political discussions with my wife were pretty fun too!
Old 01-19-2021, 10:39 AM
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and sadly, Patricia Violett, wife of the late Bob, died on January 17th.

RIP, Pat.
Old 01-19-2021, 11:51 AM
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Sam was an awesome guy. He lived an exciting life. I enjoyed talking to him. Like David said the stories are incredible. RIP Mr. Sam. We will miss you.
Old 01-19-2021, 12:26 PM
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Old 01-19-2021, 12:29 PM
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Greater Southwest 2005

Old 01-19-2021, 02:27 PM
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Sad news. I used to enjoy his page with his r/c projects builds, all of them very interesting subjects.

Sam Snyder's Hangar
Old 01-19-2021, 02:42 PM
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We will miss Sam and his most excellent building skills!


Sam's scratch built DeHavilland Swallow at Mississippi Afterburner 2009.

Sam's scratch built (12 ft span) Vulcan bomber at Mississippi Afterburner 2009.

Last edited by Ron S; 01-19-2021 at 02:47 PM. Reason: Adding Pics.
Old 01-19-2021, 02:51 PM
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Sam's own-design RPV named Syzygy, at Mt Pleasant 2010.
Old 01-19-2021, 04:27 PM
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He was also inducted into the AMA Hall of Fame in 2014
Old 01-19-2021, 04:55 PM
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Here are a few more




His B57




The Vulcan at lift off
Old 01-19-2021, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by David Gladwin View Post
and sadly, Patricia Violett, wife of the late Bob, died on January 17th.

RIP, Pat.
Oh HELL, I just talked with Patty (daughter) the other day and she didn't say anything about her mom bein sick.....

Thanks for the heads up.

Gary
Old 01-19-2021, 10:08 PM
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Very sorry to hear of Sam's passing. RIP Sam.
Old 01-20-2021, 05:17 AM
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sam was an awesome man. dawn is right, his stories could keep you occupied for hours and hanging for every detail. his models were museum pieces too. love you sam!!
Old 01-20-2021, 08:04 AM
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His sterling silver sailing vessels were works of art
Old 01-20-2021, 01:10 PM
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Sam taught me how to play poker. He started by telling me "I've never played poker before...............with.........you.........."

I can't remember the guys name, but my dad was having dinner with a guy 20 years ago that claimed he invented "proportional radio control" for model airplanes. I asked Sam about him, and Sam remembered him and said "Yeah, he was one of them".

It's painful to lose a guy like him, but all I can do is smile thinking of the great times had. Sorry to those who knew him best. I really enjoyed hanging with him at Jet Rallies back in the day. Great pics Pat!
Old 01-20-2021, 03:49 PM
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Wow, Sean it's been awhile since I saw you online. LOL, well I don't come here as much as I used to so maybe it's me.

Cheers, Andy
Old 01-21-2021, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AndyAndrews View Post
Wow, Sean it's been awhile since I saw you online. LOL, well I don't come here as much as I used to so maybe it's me.

Cheers, Andy
Hey Andy, I check RCU a couple times a year, just to see the progress in the hobby. I've suffered a debilitating eye disease called PUK (peripheral ulcerative keratitis) so flying days are probably over. Just bad luck. During the pandemic I took up the 3d printing hobby. Now I have 1,000 baby Yoda's hahahhahaa, Anyway, thanks for the shout out.

In regards to Sam, once he made me feel so special asking about canards on my Eurofighter. I must have showed him every single detail (But really my install was based on Todd Witkoff's mods) Anyway, in typical Sam fashion he shows up at the next jet rally with a new jet (his own design) with canards, and holy moly he took them to the next level. To say they don't make'em like him anymore is such an understatement. The guy walked around with a 2 shot Derringer in his back pocket 24/7. A peaceful man that was always ready for a fight, even at his age.

Man, that smile he had. What an exceptional life.
Old 01-21-2021, 06:33 AM
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Wow Sam was an awesome guy. I had many conversations with him in person and even more on the phone. He was always willing to help you with advise and even sent some gear to him that he modified so they would actually work!!!

I was blessed to have flown an few of his creations. Man could he build.

He was a wonderful Christian!!!!!!!! Had great memories on how he would read bible to his wife so they could study together.

I will miss you Sam

God Bless

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