This 2,600-hour multiengine pilot may fly for Skywest Airlines for his day job, but his dream role is as a pilot for the Commemorative Air Force, flying historic aircraft such as the B–24 Liberator. “One of my life goals is to educate the next generation about what these airplanes—and the men and women who flew them—did for us, long after all the World War II veterans are gone,” he says.
How did you get started in aviation? I got my start in aviation at a very early age. My grandfather owned a P–51 Mustang for 37 years, so from the time I was around 5 years old my dad started taking me to the airport to see grandpa. My first airplane ride was in the back seat of his Mustang when I was 8 years old, and I was hooked from then on.
What’s the best part of flying warbirds? Aviation is my life. I live and breathe flying, I do it for a living. All I’ve ever wanted to do was fly warbirds and keep them flying for as long as possible.
Favorite aircraft? My favorite aircraft by far is the North American P–51D Mustang.
What were your biggest challenges? My biggest challenge in aviation has been the training itself. Getting all my ratings from private all the way through airline transport pilot was very challenging and required a lot of studying. But it was worth it.
Advice for students? My advice for students is to not give up and keep pushing through training. It can be tough but remember why you got into aviation and started flying. For those wanting to get into warbird flying—make friends in the warbird community, volunteer at a museum, and build a lot of tailwheel time.
Watch “What It’s Like to Fly a B–24 Liberator” on YouTube.