John "Skipper Hyle is your cadet and IP for the show.
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.
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. In 1986, he joined the USAF and attend Undergraduate Pilot Training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX. Graduating in class 88-03, he was assigned to the F-16A. He went through the 63rd Tactical Flying Training Squadron at MacDill AFB in Tampa, FL, he was qualified in the F-16 A and C models and stationed in Misawa, Japan. After that tour, he was an IP in the T-38 back at Reese. In 1995, he left the USAF with some 1200 hours of fighter time and earning the USAF Senior Pilot wings.
In 1995 he was hired by ValuJet Airlines in Atlanta, GA as F/O on the DC-9. Having been with them for 20 plus years now, he is a senior Captain on the Boeing 737. And through mergers, acquisitions, etc., the company is now called Southwest Airlines. At present Skipper has over 16,000 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. When his youngest expressed interest in warbird restoration for a career, Mom said he could get a 5th airplane after Matt earned his Eagle; so there's Matt's Batt -- a 1943 PT-17 they are restoring.
The Rest of the Resume
He is a CFIIMEI, AGI and an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic.
He holds a Level 1 Zero 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 was a Check Pilot for fighter qualification in the CAF. He flew 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.
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.