C\Maj. Thomas Murphy gets his Private Pilot’s Certificate

C/Maj Thomas Murphy gets his private pilot certificate.  Photo by 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.
C/Maj Thomas Murphy gets his private pilot certificate. Photo by 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.

Cadet Major Thomas Murphy has been in CAP for three years.  It will be four this October.  He decided that he wanted to pursue his airman’s certificate after returning home from Northeast Region (NER) flight academy and soloing.  He achieved his goal last month, on June 12th to be exact:  FAA Private Pilot Certificate.

According to Murphy, “It took around 8 months to finish up my [certificate.]  It took a total of around 55-60 flight hours which is about 30-40 flights.”  He finished up with a total of 64 flight hours according to his Flight Instructor, and also completed his CAP Form 5.  The requirements for the CAP Form 5 can be found in CAPR 60-1.

When asked what challenged him most as he attempted to accomplish this significant personal milestone, he replied, “The most difficult part of getting my certificate was finding time to dedicate toward studying for my flying and preparing ahead.  Also balancing my flight training with my school work I found difficult.”

C/Maj Thomas Murphy is presented with his name patch with wings by his father, 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.  Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.
C/Maj Thomas Murphy is presented with his name patch with wings by his father, 1st Lt. Joe Murphy. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.

Murphy trained with two different instructors at the NER flight academy.  Upon returning home, he received the rest of his flight instruction from Lieutenant Colonel Peter Hantelman of the National Capital Wing.  “The easiest part was once I was up in the air with Lt. Col. Hantelman, manipulating the controls and physically getting more acquainted with how the plane feels and learning how to actually take control of the plane.”  His father pinned his CAP Pilot wings on him.  Although the original plan was for Murphy to take his dad for a short flight as his first passenger, the weather and Form 5 requirements kept this from happening.  Of course all pilots know that no matter how much planning goes into any flight evolution, flexibility is key!  His father is 1st Lt. Joe Murphy, a senior MVCS member, and the leader of the squadron’s cadets.

C/Maj Thomas Murphy and his instructor, Lt. Col. Pete Hantelman.  Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.
C/Maj Thomas Murphy and his instructor, Lt. Col. Pete Hantelman. Photo courtesy of 1st Lt. Joe Murphy.

Murphy advises those considering pursuit of an airman’s certificate, sometimes referred to incorrectly as a “pilot’s license”, that, “if you are really interested in pursuing your certificate, realize it will require time, a dedicated flight instructor (senior member), money, and lastly parental support.  If it really is your dream to obtain your [certificate] then go for it,” but Murphy went on to say that what you get out of your training is directly proportional to the effort you put into it.

He reemphasized the level of effort it took to achieve this goal, “When people who are non-pilots hear you got your certificate, I really don’t think the average person understands the amount of training and preparation that is required… After receiving all of my training for my [certificate], I realized…that I understand little of aviation [relative] to some of the pilots who have been flying for many years.  I also truly respect the experience and knowledge of a regular commercial pilot, and what it took to bring them to where they are, after going through my own training just for my [private pilot certificate.]”

Murphy was recognized at a squadron awards ceremony on June 25th.

Our Newest Awardees

MVCS cadets recognized, left to right, C/TSgt Gabriel Ramiscal, C/CMSgt Harrison Cox, C/CMSgt Josh Pavek, C/2Lt Sean Callis, C/Maj Thomas Murphy, C/2Lt Leilani Kavanagh, C/SrA Lee Gysen.  Photo by 2dLt Mark Patrick.
MVCS cadets recognized (left to right) C/TSgt Gabriel Ramiscal, C/CMSgt Harrison Cox, C/CMSgt Josh Pavek, C/2Lt Sean Callis, C/Maj Thomas Murphy, C/2Lt Leilani Kavanagh, C/SrA Lee Gysen. Photo by 2dLt Mark Patrick.

At this past Thursday’s squadron meeting, seven cadets were recognized with various awards, achievements and promotions.

C/SrA Lee Gysen earned the Mary Feik Achievement; C/TSgt Gabriel Ramiscal earned the Eddie Rickenbacker Achievement; C/CMSgts Harrison Cox and Josh Pavek earned the Neil Armstrong Achievement; C/2Lt Leilani Kavanagh was promoted to cadet officer rank by earning the Billy Mitchell Award; C/2Lt Sean Callis earned the Flight Commander achievement; and C/Maj Thomas Murphy was recognized for earning his FAA VFR Pilot Airman’s Certificate.  The latest information on the requirements for Airman Testing can be found on the FAA web site.

The squadron commander, Lt Col Lou Volchansky, presided over the award ceremony and commended this superb group of Mount Vernon Composite Squadron cadets for a job well done.

 

C/Capt Emmy Dillon Earns Her Wings!

C/Capt Emmy Dillon receives her private pilot's license from here examiner, Mr. Jerry Knouff. Photo submitted by Dillon family.
C/Capt Emmy Dillon receives her private pilot’s license from here examiner, Mr. Jerry Knouff. Photo submitted by Dillon family.

18-year old Emmy Dillon loves airplanes so much that “edlovesplanes” is her email address.  While some teenagers are content to spend the summer goofing off, on Friday July 26th, this 2013 West Springfield High School graduate and MVCS cadet earned her private pilot certificate at Warrenton-Fauquier Airport (KHWY)!

Examiner Jerry Knouff was extremely impressed with C/Capt Dillon’s aviation knowledge and stated that in the air she demonstrated her procedures and maneuvers flawlessly.

Emmy is a high achiever but her drive, passion and love for aviation are exceptional.  As a 6-year old, her normal attire was a flight suit/princess tiara ensemble as she dreamed about her future flying days.  Today C/Capt Dillon is a solo glider pilot, now a Single Engine airplane private pilot, and will enter Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida as a freshman in the fall where she will continue following her dream.

Emmy started her training with LtCol Paul Gardella and flew with him until his death last year.  All of her fellow cadets and the senior members of MVCS pass on their hearty congratulations for a job well done, achieving this significant aviation milestone.

Doris Gatewood and Maj Hank Dillon contributed to this article.