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Pilot Life: Why I Chose to Become a Navy Helicopter Pilot

Pilot Life: Why I Chose to Become a Navy Helicopter Pilot

landing on a ship

The Beginning

When I was in fifth grade, I saw the movie Pearl Harbor for the first time.  Now, this may be a cheesy love story, but it truly changed my life.  If you haven’t seen the movie, the two main characters are Army pilots during WWII.  At the end of the movie, they fly Army bombers off of a Navy aircraft carrier to launch the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo.  When I saw this I thought it was so cool.  The aviation seed was planted in my head, naval aviation in particular.  I knew I wanted to become a pilot!

After that I started watching every aviation movie I could get my hands on.  Then, my mom took me to a local airshow to see the Blue Angels.  I was completely hooked!

flight suit friday
My “flight suit Friday” aka the first day in flight school we get to start wearing our flight suits!

While at the airshow we came across a stand with other young kids in Navy uniforms.  They told us about the Sea Cadets, a progam for young kids to learn about the Navy (similar to Junior ROTC).  I joined the group that day.  Over the next couple years as part of the group I learned about the structure of the Navy and even attended a shortened version of Navy basic training in Great Lakes, IL.

College

My parents took me to visit the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD when I was a freshman in high school.  On the visit I decided the school was not for me.  After that I felt a bit lost, because I though the academy was the only was to become an officer in Navy, but then someone told my parents about NROTC.  I decided to apply and I received a scholarship to San Diego State University.  While in San Diego I was exposed to a lot of helicopter aviation and realized that was a much better fit for my personality and life than becoming a jet pilot.

I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and spot to attend flight school in Pensacola, FL.  After completing primary flight training, I selected helicopters.

selection
My selection token!

I moved back to San Diego to fly the MH-60S after getting my wings of gold in 2016.

winging
Getting my wings of gold with my best friend!

Fly Navy!

Being a pilot is my dream come true!  Checking off, become a helicopter pilot, from my bucketlist was the most satisfying accomplishment.  It has allowed me to meet some of the most amazing people I know.  Flying has also given me the opportunity to travel.  In flight school I was able to fly cross country flights to Chicago, Orlando and Nashville.

smokey mountains
Flying through the Smokey Mountains.
sunset flying
Sunset flying!

While at my current squadron, I was fly cross country from Houston, TX after assisting in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief back to San Diego.

over Texas
Flying through Texas
Girls in Aviation
Attending the Girls in Aviation day where we were given the opportunity to teach and inspire young girls about aviation! So rewarding!

There is no better way to see the amazing sites of this country than from the air!!

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk to earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonard Di Vinci

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