The Pilot

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Who's doing the flying...


John "Skipper" Hyle is your cadet and IP for the acro routine.

The Air Force

Almost too old, Skipper decided to join the United States Air Force with the sole ambition of being a fighter pilot.  In 1986, he went to Officer Training School (OTS) and became a "90 day wonder".  Attending Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese Air Force Base, class 88-03, he graduated with his wings and his F-16 assignment in February of 1988.

After a year at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL he was stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan with the 14th Tactical Fighter Squadron.  Three years there took him to the Phillippines, Australia, Korea, Indonesia, and Alaska.

Then it was back stateside to teach Advanced Flying, Jet in the T-38 at good ole Reese AFB again.  Maintaining his civilian flying he managed to add his CFI-Multi-engine and his ATP..

Background, the beginning

Skipper started in 1978, earning his Pilot Certificate at Byrd Field in Richmond, VA.  He was 17.  Shortly after that he got a job with Barnstormer's Airshows, putting up hot air ballons and wiping down two Stearman PT-17s.

The Airline

In 1995 he was hired by ValuJet Airlines in Atlanta, GA as F/O on the DC-9.  Having been with them for 20 years now, he is a senior Captain on the Boeing 737.  And through mergers, acquistions, etc., the company is now called Southwest Airlines.  At present Skipper has over 14,000 hours of flight time and is typed in the DC-3, DC-9 and the B-737. 

Upon making Captain he acquired his fourth airplane, a 1952 Harvard Mk 4, "J's Bird".  Named after his first born, J's Bird is now part of the family and the star of this show.

Gaining Experience

Flying during college, after graduation he obtained his Commercial, Multi and Instrument ratings and in 1983 passed his Certified Flight Instructor check ride.  Almost immediately after that he started instructing at Petersburg-Dinwiddie Aviation in Petersburg, VA.  Once enough time was obtained, he started flying charters under FAR Part 135 in a Cessna 182, 340 and 421.  He also advanced to CFI-Instrument.

About this time he acquired his second airplane, a 7ECA Citabria and started going upside down.

Later, that was traded for the first warbird, a Fairchild PT-26. 

He also co-founded a wing of the, then, Confederate Air Force in Suffolk, VA and performed airshows in his PT-26 in support of that unit.

The Rest of the Resume

He is a CFIIMEI, AGI and an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic. 

He holds a 250 foot low altitude waiver for crowd pleasing aerobatics. 

He is also a check pilot for the North American Trainer's Association and the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) for formation flying.  And he is a Check Pilot for fighter qualification in the CAF.  He flies the P-51 "Red Nose" for the Dixie Wing of the CAF and W7, a C-47, for the National Warplane Museum out of Geneseo, NY.

As a USAF Pilot, he was qualified in the F-16 A and C models, and an IP in the T-38 with some 1200 hours of fighter time and earning the USAF Senior Pilot wings.

Not just another pretty face, he is also an Associate Fellow for the Aerospace Medical Association, and Aerospace Physiologist, and a qualified Mishap Investigator.  He holds a BS in Biology from the College of William and Mary and a Master of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

He's married with two boys and a black Lab and lives in Peachtree City, GA.