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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career

The Ready For Takeoff podcast will help you transform your aviation passion into an aviation career. Every week we bring you instruction and interviews with top aviators in their field who reveal their flight path to an exciting career in the skies.
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Ready For Takeoff - Turn Your Aviation Passion Into A Career
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Now displaying: Page 1
Sep 28, 2020

Col. (Ret.) Vic Vizcarra, a 24 year Air Force veteran, was commissioned through the ROTC program upon graduation from Loyola University of Los Angeles in 1960. A high ranking in his pilot training class allowed him to choose the F-100 from the list of available assignments. After completing F-100 training, he was assigned to the 31st TFW, 309th TFS at Homestead AFB, FL where he flew the "Hun" for 16 months. In 1963, he transitioned to the F-105 and served in Japan from where he participated in three deployments to Southeast Asia and flew 59 combat missions in the F-105D.  During his third deployment, he was forced to eject from his disabled F-105D over North Vietnam and spent two hours on the ground evading capture before being rescued by a U.S. Navy helicopter. He later returned to fly 120 combat missions in the F-100D/F with the 35th TFW, 352nd TFS, at Phan Rang AB, Republic of Vietnam. In addition to the F-100 and F-105, Col. Vizcarra flew the F-5E and F-4E in follow-on assignments. Promoted to Colonel in 1981, he served as the 35th TFW Deputy Commander of Maintenance in his final assignment. Hun Pilot is the author's second publication and is a companion to his first book, Thud Pilot.

 

Speed & Angels Productions makes films that honor those who served. Award-winning filmmaker, Mark Vizcarra founded the production company to bring a fresh and unique perspective in producing entertaining content. His thousands of hours of flying the world’s most sophisticated fighters and landing aboard nine different aircraft carriers while serving in the United States Navy brings a level authenticity to a niche piece of commercially viable storytelling.  Speed & Angels Productions’ slate of untold stories delivers spectacular aerial cinematography and dramatic story arcs that tap into a market yearning for aviation and historical content.

Captain Michael A. Vizcarra, first commissioned by the Navy in 1984, assumed command of MU’s Reserve Officers Training Corp Unit in August. Prior to being assigned to the post, he served as Commander of Fleet Activities in Okinawa, Japan.

“I am a Florida state resident but we’ve actually lived in Japan three times,” he said of his family’s many moves. “We wanted a small college town and we wanted a place where we could experience all four seasons. Not ever having lived anywhere in the Midwest, my wife Sherri looked online for information about Columbia, and everything she read about it, she really liked.

“Our kids are in high school, and I had a chance to look at the schools when I was here,” he said, adding that he liked what he saw. “Every person I talked to about Columbia said they came here, not necessarily intending to stay, but that it’s a great place and the people are great too. We haven’t looked back.”

Vizcarra became a Naval Flight Officer in 1986 and in his steady climb through the Navy’s ranks, he has accumulated over 3,600 flight hours piloting F-14s and F-18s with nearly 1,000 carrier take-offs and landings. “I’m glad I did it,” he said, “but I’m definitely glad to be spending time with my family now. I miss flying a little bit, but this way I can teach my kids to drive. I’m a family guy.”

He wholeheartedly believes that throughout his 30-year connection to the Navy he has been presented with great opportunities and that his experiences have led him to this job, serving as a mentor for young men and women starting down the same path.

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