About the Pilot
I have been a
pilot since June of 1984, courtesy of the Army Flying Activity (Aeroclub) at
Fort Knox, Kentucky. I have been a lifetime fan of all things aviation, coming
by this naturally as the son of a Captain with American Airlines. Since my youth, I was also a fan of cavalry and armor, and wound up joining the Army,
instead of the Air Force. The opportunity, time, and finances necessary to
become a pilot did not all come together until the after my first tour of duty
in Germany, while I was assigned to Fort Knox, Kentucky for the Officers Advanced Course. I passed the
private pilot check ride while on leave between the end of the course and reporting back to Germany for my second tour. Duty as a cavalry officer left little time to exercise my new ticket. I
found time and opportunities when and where I could. This included three or four flights
at military aeroclubs and some glider experience through a German glider club.
There was also some very unofficial time with the cavalry squadron’s instructor pilots in AH-1’s and OH-58’s.
After 5 ½ years,
I got back to the United States and tried to make up for lost time. I joined the
Civil Air Patrol and quickly earned qualifications as a search and rescue
mission pilot and counter-drug pilot. I also found the time to earn
my instrument and commercial ratings, before being deployed to
Operation Desert Storm.
Upon my return, I
bought my first airplane, a 1975 Piper Cherokee Warrior, became a CFI and
eventually became an Instructor Pilot, Standardization and Evaluation Officer,
and Chief Check Pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, and in my (before children) free time, became operations
officer of the very aero club I where I had learned to fly.
Between the Army,
family, the first Iraq war, and CAP, I managed to get a Master’s Degree in
training and development. My 1992 thesis was about using desk-top based flight
simulators in private pilot education. Just for reference, 1992 was a 128k
world, and then-current version of MSFS was version 4, looking like this:
Yes, that is
supposed to be a Cessna 172 flying over Lake Michigan to land at Meigs Field in
I left active
duty in 1992 in the Army’s post-cold war going out of business sale. I stayed
active in the Army Reserve and became more active in the Civil Air Patrol. I earned my multi-engine and ATP
ratings, foolishly became an airline pilot in 2001 with a now extinct
regional airline, was furloughed right after 9-11, and returned to active duty in the Army.
Somehow, between duty at Fort Knox, Germany (with side trips to the Balkans),
Iraq, the Pentagon, West Africa, and back to the Pentagon, I stayed madly in love with my wife, have three sons, and owned three different
airplanes before I retired from the Army in 2009. For the time being I still
work in the Pentagon, largely doing what I did in my last assignment on
active duty…which has nothing to do with flying.
Still a soft spot in my heart. This is the airplane that taught me the joy of
flight. I sold it to someone who, together with his wife, give it the tender
loving care it deserves.
Actually my father’s airplane. He gave me custody of it to build multi-engine
experience and then it came to my legal possession upon his going west. It cost
more to get it ready for sale (closing the estate) as I got from the sale.
Fast, maneuverable, a great flying platform, a maintenance nightmare, and
overall just too expensive.
Today: What this website is about: O-2A N424AF. Coming in for landing at our home field.