This is hopefully a well documented web page of my trials, tribulations surrounding Pitts S-1S Aerobatic Bi-plane. I have created this page to help, inspire and entertain friends and to keep a daily log of my constant aviation project.
I have been interested in aviation since before I can remember. I grew up building Lego airports, building models of WWII fighters and modern day fighters. I have flown Radio Controlled aircraft for 10 years. I finally in May of 2001 put aside excuses of time and money and went down to the local flying school and took my first lesson and Reno International Airport. 4 months later in August 8, 2001 I was rewarded a temporary private pilot certificate. I then hurried to my second year of collage. I chose the sumer of 2001 because I was just ending my first year of college at Utah State University however I didn’t like it so I decided to switch to a more aviation oriented school. I chose Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ . At any rate I had 4 months between school semesters so I figured I had enough time to get my license.
Aviation at Embry-Riddle
The first few weeks after starting school (Riddle as we call it) I was at the club fair and found 2 clubs that interested me greatly. First of course was the R/C aircraft club. At this point I have been flying R/C airplane for years and was very delighted to find out about the flying field on the campus. Second was the Aerobatic Club. This club continued to be a staple of mine throughout College. I was introduced to the wide world of aerobatics from two fantastic pilots Mike Corradi and Bob Sweginnis both of which are greatly missed. During my three years of school I flew no less then 11 aerobatic contests in the Sportsman class. I placed 1st 3 times flying against Pitts S-2’s and Extra 300’s. I placed 2nd in the 2003 National Collegiate Aerobatic Championships. I was also studying to get a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. I was never able to fly any other aircraft in competition besides the Super Decathlon (because of availability and money) so flying anything above sportsman was not possible with a safety pilot however it is possible without one. My good friend Jody Bradt can prove that. While was was in school I was able to fly with Kirby Chambliss in his Edge 540T. This was before the Redbull Air Races made him famous at that time he is was just a 2 time national champion (just of course ;^). He went on to win 5 National Championships. I also flew on many more then one occasion with my friend Brian in his Pitts S-2B.
Post Riddle Flying
Once I graduated I of course had no money and needed to work. Armed with a in B.S. Aerospace Engineering I geared up for my new job working as a Helicopter flight test engineer for the Navy at NAS Patuxent River, MD. I worked my tail off weekends and holidays on the brand new AH-1Z and UH-1Y attack and utility helicopters for the Marine Corps. Because my work was taking up all my time I was unable to fly very much. Update 5 Jan 2009
I will be slowly stopping this blog for awhile as I have been given an amazing opportunity at work to attend the United States Naval Test Pilot School as a Government Civilian Flight Test Engineer. I will have the opportunity to fly in the T-6A, T-38C, F/A-18B, U-1 (Otter), U-6 (Beaver) along with many other aircraft. My life will be consumed by this for 1 year basically until December 2009. This is a huge honor and I am proud to be accepted to such a prestigious school. I will be following in the footsteps of great aviators like John Glenn, Gene Cernan, and Jim Lovell among others. As you can imagine I am excited and I will try to update my blog with new exciting things as they happen but it might not happen as much depending on work load. Here is a link to the school’s website if you want to read more. http://www.navair.navy.mil/USNTPS/
Update February 2010:
I haven’t updated this page in about a year so I thought It need some dusting off. It’s been 2 months now since I graduated from TPS, but I realized that I haven’t listed all the cool airplanes I have flown over the course of the year. So here is goes T-6A, T-38C, T-38A, OH-58A, C-12C, U-6 (beaver), F-16D, F-18F, DG-1000 (glider), SGS-2-33 (glider), X-26 (SGS-2-32 glider), MiG-15 UTI, SNJ-6 (AT-6), B-25J, HU-16C Grummen Albatross and finally the C-17A (Globemaster III). TPS was a great experience I had a great time and I also hated it sometimes as well. The education I recieved there will be invaluable in my future flying career and my future Flight Test Engineering Career.