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RFT 414: Helo/Tanker Pilot Nick Kanakis

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station description Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
Duration: 33:48
Nick had his first flight at age 18 in a Stearman, and had repeatedly tried to get into the Air Force Academy, but eventually attended the Military Academy at West Point. He always wanted to go into aviation, and he accepted a position as an aviation officer. He attended pilot training at Fort Rucke
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Nick had his first flight at age 18 in a Stearman, and had repeatedly tried to get into the Air Force Academy, but eventually attended the Military Academy at West Point. He always wanted to go into aviation, and he accepted a position as an aviation officer. He attended pilot training at Fort Rucker, and received an assignment to fly Blackhawk attack helicopters. He was initially assigned to Hunter Army Airfield, then deployed to Iraq as a maintenance officer and downed aircraft recovery officer. He supervised or performed eight recoveries of crashed aircraft, usually recovering human remains and injured crew members. He then flew counter-narcotics missions in South America, intercepting boats and aircraft. Most of these missions were conducted at night, using night vision goggles (NVGs). In addition, he performed humanitarian missions. After nine years, Nick left the Army when he did not received his desired assignment as an instructor at West Point, and transferred to the Air Force. He immediately attended Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT), and was assigned to fly the KC-135. Nick has owned a 1948 Navion for eight years. His wife is also a pilot, flying the C-130 in the California Air National Guard. Nick became involved in warbird flying and is currently in training in the Boeing KC-135.
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