I’ve always loved aviation, I think it started when I was a kid. Star Wars X-wing fighters, then the space ships of Buck Rogers, and of course, Battlestar Galactica (the original). I couldn’t get enough.

As a kid I wanted to go to one of the service academies but, having left home at sixteen with marginal grades, this wasn’t an option. Instead I enlisted in the Navy to become a SEAL. I had a brief stint as a helicopter aircrew search and rescue swimmer (there was no easy path to BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) training but, I finally got my orders in 1997. I wouldn’t learn to fly until 2004.

You are who you hang out with. 

Fast forward, and I was a 29 year-old Chief and a course manager for the SEAL sniper program in Coronado, CA.

I went flying one weekend with my friend Glen Doherty who was a commercial pilot and a close friend. He let me take the controls on one of the take-offs, and pulling that little Cessna off the deck was one of the best aviation memories I’ve had, I was instantly hooked. Most know Glen as one of the SEAL/CIA contractors that gave his life in Benghazi, Libya as featured in the movie “13 Hours”.

Glen forever altered my life with that nudge, and I’ll never forget him for it. We’d both go on to have some crazy flying adventures throughout the years right up to his last deployment to Libya.

My friend had rubbed off on me in positive way, and I had my pilot’s license less than two months after he allowed me to take the controls.  Three months later I had my instrument rating. 

I couldn’t get enough.