Aerobatic pilot hopes to excite younger generation into aviation

WICHITA FALLS - Yesterday, four local pilots were awarded one of the highest honors a pilot can receive. 
    
Glenn Beavers, John Holly, Mac McGregor, and John McMurray were presented highly prestigious Wright Brothers Award by the Federal Aviation Administration.
    
After the presentation, family and friends stuck around for an air show where aerobatic pilot Chet Kuhn showed off some high flying skills. 

"Well, I first started skydiving and I met a guy out there. He said, a buddy of mine said, 'If I got him into skydiving, then I had to start flying aerobatics, cause I was already a pilot.' Well, long story short, he made a jump the next week. The next month I bought his airplane from him." 

In his many years of learning many new skills, Kuhn has one trick that makes people nervous to watch. 

"Oh man, we have one. You know, we're in Texas so we got to call it the Texas Tornado," said Kuhn. "You dive in and you pull straight up and you actually flip the airplane nose over tail while you're still going up. Once you get to the top, you pull the power back and it basically just falls down backward for about a thousand feet." 

Kuhn said he loves doing tricks in the skies, but his main focus is making sure the crowd has a good show and getting kids excited about aviation. 

"There's going to be a pilot shortage here soon and so promoting aviation, getting into it, the costs to get into aviation are going up, so we're constantly trying to find ways to get new, younger generations into it and I think air shows is one of the best ways out there," Kuhn said. 

But Kuhn said safety is always the most important part of his air shows, something he continues to learn from other experienced pilots. 

"It's no small feat that they're here today after all those years of flying, 20,000 or 30,000 hours flying hours. So it's a big honor. I love talking to them. They just have so much wisdom and knowledge to keep you going and keep them safe," Kuhn said. 
 


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