Mount Si grad, cadet soaring the skies

  - Courtesy photo
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Mount Si graduate and Air Force Academy cadet Chad Hennig poses with his gilder aircraft. Hennig is an instructor pilot for the Air Force Academy Airmanship Program, teaching fellow cadets to fly sailplanes. He had obtained his private pilot license before graduating from Mount Si High School, and put that knowledge to good use, flying gliders.

As one of his last flights two weeks ago as a cadet before graduation, he took his plane out for his own enjoyment. He was towed to 9,500 feet, was released, and then sailed up with thermals and rising air mass to 14,800 feet. He reported that he could have likely gone to 18,000 feet with those air conditions, but was without the needed supplemental oxygen.

Hennig, of North Bend, and a 2008 graduate from Mount Si High School, will graduate from the academy on May 23. With President Barack Obama giving the commencement speech, Hennig will likely receive a handshake from the commander-in-chief. Hennig will graduate from the Academy with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, but has said he will likely stay with the Air Force until retirement.

Sixty days after graduation from the Academy, Hennig reports to Columbus Air Force Base in Columbus Mississippi for Pilot Training. If the Air Force has the need for new fighter pilots at the end of the just under two year pilot training, he says it would be difficult to pass that opportunity up for another type of plane.


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