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Christopher Lachance
Name: Christopher Lachance
Company: USAF
Current Aircraft: T-37B, C130E, C-9A
Age N/A
Country USA

Airline experience: no
Corporate or fractional experience: no
Cargo experience: no
Military, government, or law enforcement experience: yes

Mentor profile:
I was first introduced to flying by my grandfather at a very young age. It is all I can remember ever wanting to do. He would take me to airports (back when they were smaller!) for me to watch the planes take off and land all day. When college approached, I still did not have the financial means to get my license. By that point I had a deep interest in the military, so I knew that was the way I wanted to go. My grades would not support an Academy nomination, so I (thankfully) applied to the next best thing--The Citadel. After 2 years in college, again my grades were not leaning me toward a pilot slot, which were pretty hard to come by back then. So I focused all of my energy on the military aspects of ROTC, and that carried me to a high enough ranking to earn a slot to Columbus AFB, MS in July of 1994. After the most difficult, and enjoyable, year of my life in Air Force UPT flying the T-37 and T-38, I was assigned to the 75th Airlift Squadron in Ramstein Germany flying medevac in the C-9A Nightingale. A great time, gaining me experience flying from the middle of the Atlantic to Saudi Arabia, as well as becoming an aircraft commander. Following my tour in Germany, I went to the opposite side of the globe to fly C-130E Hercules' in Yokota Air Base, Tokyo, Japan. I immediately became an aircraft commander and in two years flew in locations from Alaska to Thailand and Vietnam. The Herc was a great plane, but I was ready to be stationed stateside after 5 years overseas. To facilitate a stateside move, I volunteered to teach at Air Force Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training at Laughlin AFB, in Del Rio, TX. An austere location to say the least, but by far the best job I have ever had. We fly at least twice a day and I have earned over 800 hours in my 1.5 years here so far. I am a Flight Commander and Instructor Pilot, responsible for 7 other instructors and 15 students. It has been a rewarding experience so far, and one I immensely enjoy. What the future holds for me I am not sure. I am committed for another 5 years, but I will do everything I can to remain in the training environment to the maximum extent that I can.

Favorite thing about flying:
The fact that I can teach a civilian to learn how to fly military jet aircraft--and the look on their face the first time I turn the plane upside down.
Disadvatages of being a pilot:
It is a tough job--long hours, a lot of training, and a lot of heartache.

What you would have done different:
Not a thing.
Advice to aspiring pilots:
Dedicate yourself. If you are truly meant to be a pilot looking at the skies above you should bring tears to your eyes. There is no halfway pilot--either you belong there or you do not. With the required amount of desire, nothing can keep you from flight.
Problems encounterd along the way:
Financially it just takes so much damn money to learn as a civilian. Flying for the military will first, be free as far as money goes, and second, will make you a better pilot than anywhere in the world because our standards are so high. Study hard in college not because your grades count so much, but because it prepares your mind for the intense study that begins in pilot training.

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