Hello to all present and past members of Squadron 3. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my experiences and how I got involved with Kitty Hawk Squadron III Air Explorer Scouts.
I have always wanted to fly and be a pilot. At the ripe old age of four, my first family trip was from Los Angeles, CA USA (LAX) to Tel Aviv, Israel (TVL) with a lay-over in New York (JFK). I remember telling my sister and parents that “I want to fly these big birds when I get older”. All I remember is the sunrise as we went eastward and my father pointing out on the screen were over Greenland.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, Northridge, CA. In this part of CA we have the freeway of HELL (I-405) my eyes are always in the sky looking at the arrivals of jets into LAX.
With this all said I was in cub scouts from first grade and Boy Scouts after that. I was selected into the Order of the Arrow and now a Vigil Honor Member. At the age of fifth-teen, I had earned the rank of Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm. Sept. 1997.
Around Thanksgiving of 1997 I saw an article in the Los Angeles Times on the Air Explorer Scout group. That article is enclosed on this web site; it’s the one with Ralph Truglio and Ben Strand. I was already an eagle scout and wanted to continue my scouting adventure while starting to settle on what to do with my life.
I joined the group in November 1997. On a training flight a month or so later, the scout aircraft blew two cylinders and we had no money to pay for the repairs. Our Cessna 172 was grounded for about 10 or 11 months, until Ralph Truglio generously donated the money required for repairs. During this period, I went to ground school every Monday night.
When February 1999 came around I took my first lesson with Ralph. At this time we only had to pay $ 5.00 a month for dues and $ 17.00 per year. The airplane wet amount was $25.00 per Hobs flight hour. The flight and ground instruction has always been free. I soloed the morning of my High School Sr. Prom. May 20, 2000. I received my Private Pilot Certificate on January 2, 2001.
A former Squadron member who had become an instructor (CFII SEL/MEL) helped me with my Instrument Rating, which I received June 2002. Later that summer I received my Commercial SEL with Instruments ticket. January 2003 I received my multi-engine Commercial with Instruments Certificate, and became a certified flight instructor October 2003.
My hope is that you and many more can and will come through the program. I have met many great professionals through Squadron 3. James B. Zambellow for example, is one I look up to and try to use as an example (James is currently a First Officer for Delta Airlines). Additionally, Jim Ferguson, Ruben Khachatryan, Patrick Aghyans are aviation professionals who have influenced me, as well as Steve Priest with the USAF 707 Radar Recon and many former Squadron members that I have never even met.
Currently I’m an assistant flight instructor to the group. It is my great honor and pleasure to be a member of such a fine organization. Since October 2003 I have given my time back to the group. I continue to fill up my logbook, which today totals 516 hours. This December, I’ll graduate from Cal State Northridge with a BA in Geography and an emphasis in Cartography and GIS. One day I hope to be fly for a major Airline.
Pass the word along that youth between the ages of 14 and 21 who want to learn to fly should contact us. I can be reached at 818-831-8134 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Additionally, we always welcome financial contributions to help keep flight cost low. Currently, due to fuel and insurance expenses, the Squadron aircraft is $47.00 per hour. Please commit what you can and help us bring this rate back to the $25.00 per hour target. All donations are tax deductible
Finally, thanks to Kitty Hawk Squadron 3 and Ralph, you have made a large difference in my life. I look forward to many more years of service. If I am not there others will take my place as we move up the ladder. There is Honor and tradition that needs to be continued!