Pat grew up in Hawthorne, paying for his own flight instructions, and soloing at Hawthorne Airport in March 1963. He earned his Commercial Pilot Certificate September 1, 1966.
He entered the US Army as an Infantry Private E-1 in April 1967, he tested for the Warrant Officer Flight Program during basic training and became a helicopter pilot. His military awards include the Bronze Star, 2 awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, 2 Army Commendation Medals, and 38 Air Medals, 2 for Valor, and numerous service and campaign ribbons. He was also awarded a direct commission from Chief Warrant Officer to First Lieutenant following his first combat tour in Vietnam. His career included command, staff, and pilot positions in Korea, Germany, and three years as the Commander of Libby Army Airfield, Ft. Huachuca, AZ.
Retiring with the rank of Major in 1987, he returned to Hawthorne working as a Test Pilot, Corporate Pilot, and Flight Instructor. He served as an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE), flight testing for twenty-eight years and a FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER) Test Pilot for his five years. Pat flew as a Corporate Pilot, FAR 135 Charter Pilot, Chief Pilot, Director of Operations, and Check Airman for companies based at the Hawthorne and Long Beach Airports.
With 32,000+ hours of flight experience in helicopters and airplanes, he holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate in Single and Multiengine Airplanes, and 9 Airplane Type Ratings for high performance airplanes.
In addition to being a helicopter rated Commercial Pilot, Pat is an FAA Gold Seal Flight Instructor in airplanes and helicopters.
Pat’s passion is teaching flying, and aviation safety. He serves on the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA) and is a Life Member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA).
He is a Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce Board member and served twelve years on the Hawthorne Planning Commission and Airport Zoning Commission. In 2000 he ran a successful campaign to keep Hawthorne Airport open.
Pat is pilot resource manager and aircraft maintenance coordinator for Wolfe Air, an aerial filming company and operates a specialized pilot training and consulting company at the Hawthorne airport.
Pat holds a BS Degree in Business Management from Cameron University, MS Degree in Systems Management and a Certificate of Completion in Aviation Safety Management from the University of Southern California (USC).
Pat and his very talented Army wife of 53 years moved 18 times during the 20 years in the military. Their grandchildren and children live and work in the Los Angeles area.