|Mitch Stinson - Navy Pilot
|VAW-126 Seahawk Squadron
August 16, 1985
US Navy 1985
|Aircraft Division VAW-126
|Mitch in T-2 Buckeye
as instructor pilot
|Mitch doing "touch & go's"
in E-2 Hawkeye
|John F. Kennedy
Mitch Stinson received his commission as an Ensign in the
Candidate School at NAS Pensacola, FL, in August 1985.
Selected for flight school as a Student Naval Aviator, he
first trained in the T-34C with VT-6 at NAS Whiting Field in
Milton, Florida from September 1985 to March 1986. After
Pipeline and completed intermediate jet training at VT-4 in
September 1986. His first aircraft carrier landing was made
in the Gulf of Mexico aboard the USS Lexington (AVT-16).
After advanced multi-engine training, ENS Stinson was
designated a Naval Aviator and "pinned" on his wings at
NAS Corpus Christi, TX on November 28, 1986. From there,
it was off to NAS Norfolk, VA and Fleet Replacement
Hawkeye, the Navy's airborne early warning platform. This
included advanced instrument and systems training and
culminated with his first night carrier landing aboard the
USS Eisenhower (CV-69) in June of 1987.
From September 1987 to August 1990 Mitch Stinson served
as an E-2C pilot with VAW-126 in Carrier Air Wing three
(CVW-3). From August of 1988 to January of 1989 he
deployed aboard USS JFK (CV-67) for a six month
Mediterranean cruise. The air wing conducted all weather,
day and night, air superiority missions that included
freedom of navigation exercises in international waters
north of Libya. This led to the downing of 2 Libyian Migs
challenging international law in the Gulf of Sidra.
Lt. Stinson transferred to VT-19 NAS Meridian on August 1,
1990 and spent the next three years as a Flight Instructor
in the T-2C Buckeye. His primary duties as Head Landing
Signal Officer at VT-19 included the training and
completion of carrier qualifications for Student Naval
Aviators. On May 16, 1993, Lt. Mitch Stinson made his final
flight as a Naval Aviator launching from the deck of the
USS JFK and was honorably discharged from the Navy in
July of 1993. During his Navy career, Mitch made 236
successful carrier landings aboard US Navy Ships at sea.