Chuck Yeager grounded by homeowners association lawsuit

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Chuck Yeager — the retired Air Force brigadier general who was the first man to break the speed of sound — said he would rather have been piloting a plane down to Laughlin, Nev., this week, where he’ll soon be celebrating his 91st birthday.

But there was the little matter of a lawsuit by the Sacramento, Calif.-based Park River Oak Estates Homeowners Association, which claims Yeager and his wife owe $28,000 in association fees on two units.

“While defendant Gen. Charles Yeager may be a famous man, that fame does not make him immune … from principles of simple fairness,” the association’s lawsuit said.

Yeager’s exploits as a test pilot featured prominently in “The Right Stuff,” Tom Wolfe’s 1979 account of the early days of the space program. After retiring from the Air Force in 1975, the World War II ace was a fixture in television ads for AC Delco batteries.

Yeager regaled Sacramento Bee reporter Andy Furillo with a story about the time he presided as a judge in a court-martial of an Air Force colonel accused of violating the rules of engagement when he strafed a Soviet ship during the Vietnam War. Source: sacbee.com.