Service Academy Parent's Perks


Jun 15, 2006
Here is one of the types of things you service academy parents have to look forward to. My son graduated from USNA in 1998, flew F-14s for his first squadron tour and, through hard work, good grades at USNA, and dedication, got accepted at the Navy Test Pilot School in NAS, Patuxent River, MD. After graduation, he is required to do a “pay back” tour at one of the test squadrons and therefore gets to be an honest-to-gosh Chuck Yeager test pilot, testing things and flying profiles on Navy jets that have never been flown before. Of course, TPS was intense and time consuming, and, with the war in Iraq, all shore-duty squadrons are undermanned, so for the last few years, he has been extremely busy. I started to hint that his grandparents (my parents) who are in their 90’s aren’t going to be around forever and that he needed to visit and spend some quality time with them. Well, last weekend my daughter-in-law had a family wedding in Pittsburg so my son, with a free weekend, came to visit his grandparents. He didn’t drive down. He brought one of the Navy jets he has been testing. He parked it at the local airport and spent the entire weekend with his grandparents. They ate the whole thing up. When he left on Sunday, there was a lady at the airport who was actually choked up and misty eyed from watching his and his grandparent’s interactions. Of course his dad was kind of excited also, but he would never admit it. Before you GAO types get all worked up, they are required to fly cross-county flights for their annual qualifications.
Nicely Done!

The only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys! :thumb:
It was a T-45, the only plane he is checked out in that could handle the short runway.
(Just found this site and thread)

USNA69, congrats to your son. TPS can be heck (you know what word I mean). Lot of time, hard work, not to mention brains and talent.

When my husband retired from USAF, he was the director of education for the USAF TPS. He said the ONLY way to teach these guys testing properly is to adopt the Navy model. That way you have older, experienced pilots teaching the younger, inexperienced little pipsqueaks (not including your son in the pipsqueak pile).

Your son's relationship w/the grands reminds me of my husband's. They had a ball w/him and his flying when they were around. They were even out visiting when he did the solo show perfomance (F-16) at our base's air show, pointing at the sky saying to ANYONE around them, "That's our grandson."

Your son is lucky.

My goodness USNA69, a navy jet landing in Mayberry. I bet you that news got around the county.
Now that's one cool story.
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