Since Curran began . This shift in airshow schedules meant that Maj. Currans social media contributions became even more important for maintaining the relevance of the Thunderbirds for public audiences. She flies place #5, lead solo, one of the vital seen positions on the group. At this writing, there was no decision on whether the Sunday performance would take place. The schedule is grueling. She also contributes to "60 Minutes. We learn that the parachutes they use, use with Jessy Panzer, the only female civilian air show pilot in the USA. PORTSMOUTH Maj. Michelle Curran, 34, is the lead solo pilot of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. I fly for them, not to let them down., But she adds, And for all those little kids they may not ever become a pilot, but they may think, Maybe I can do that hard thing I didnt think I could., Moms drag their daughter over, She just flew! I makes them realize doors are open to them., The team flies in many countries and parts of the world where it is unthinkable for a woman to be a combat pilot. "We'll do opposing passes, where we fly right at each other head-on. She went on to complete the Squadron Officer School in 2014. *This is a free press release. My time in that role was coming to an end after the 2021 season regardless of what I was going on to do next. He is in his second season with the team and hails from Fort Collins, Colo. Curran has been in the Air Force for 11 years, but flying wasnt always her goal. The F-16, he says, is basically an engine with wings it can fly at supersonic speed (though the FAA no longer allows it at air shows). Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting. MACE is a 2009 received her degree from the University of St. Thomas where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Criminal Justice. Prior to joining the Thunderbirds, he served as the Chief of Weapons and Tactics of the 79th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C. Always a thrill seeker at heart, she has a passion for pushing her limits and changing lives. I will look back.. When expanded it provides a list of search options that will switch the search inputs to match . The technical aspects and tactics were complicated. that each were afraid of flying initially, he because his father was an died in an airplane crash. and Jack Links Beef Jerky teamed up to create a one-of-a-kind plane, theScreamin We have music associated with all our maneuvers and for that one I got to pick the song. My favorite moment was when this little girlshe was probably six or sevencame up to the autograph line after a show and said, Im going to take your job. I was like, 'Yes! She first saw the squadron during her F-16 training, when they came to her base. it has been awesome to be part of that, to be in this position, in this time of history. 2023Leading Authorities, Inc. All Rights Reserved. I am a Venezuelan passionate about aviation, and at 44 years old I only see these from the screen, since I never dared to approach an Airplane because I am a woman. The second best result is Michelle Lee Curran age 40s in Ocala, FL in the Silver Springs Shores neighborhood. famous by the barnstormers of the 1920s and 1930s, and is based on a 1929 Waco, At the end of her undergraduate pilot training, she was one of justtwo in her class of 25 chosen for fighter jets. And then you have the kiddie gloves! barrier, where the pilot experiences bone-crushing Gs. Thank you for the inspiring honest humility of being new at accomplishing a very big dream, and putting a name to what some very real struggles are, in order to succeed and overcome. Her last assignment was with the Air Forces elite demonstration squadron, The Thunderbirds. During her three years of task with the Thunderbirds, she rapidly established herself as a extremely seen and constructive influencer for the Air Force by revolutionary use of social media. She isthe fifth female pilot and only the second female solo pilot in the 65-year history of the Thunderbirds. She reflects that last year, the personal contact with people was lacking, but the team did city- flyovers, honoring health workers, essential workers and first responders. It's so important for others to hear your struggles. When all six [of the Thunderbirds] come together, if the air is smooth, were all firing on all cyclinders, its a cool feeling. The Thunderbirds dont see combat, but that doesnt mean its an easy life. Maj. Curran is broadly referred to as a member of the U.S. Air Force Flight Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds. In Captain Marvel, Brie Larson plays Carol Danvers, an Air Force fighter pilot who uses the special powers she gains during an accident to save the galaxy. He is in his third season with the team and hails from Orlando, Fla. Maj. Ian Lee is the Left Wing Pilot for the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, flying the No. 9 positive Gs and 6 negative Gs. MACE started her career at Undergraduate Pilot training, earning one of only two fighter aircraft spots available and going on to fly the F-16. There is a charge of adrenalin, but once I take off, it is just focus. Sasquatch, powered by dual powerplants: a Pratt & Whitney 985 Radial He is in his second season with the team and hails from Beavercreek, Ohio. He majored in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned his commission in 2004 through the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps program. So in a way, women make for more natural fighter pilots. This often begins at Crunchbase, where we find out the basics of the company and its founders, launching points for further research. I only wish I looked that good 'At Attention.' (There have been girls who had really long ponytails get their hair stuck in the seat.) Instead, Im riding with Lieutenant Colonel Eric Gorney, a very kind and patient pilot who showed me, using a model plane, exactly what kind of maneuvers wed be doing once we got into the sky. 15 lives, patrol some 96,000 miles of coastline through the US, as well as They practice so much, it is all quite routine, even the communications between pilots. run where they evade the enemy by actually flying into each other to create Curran holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from the University of St. Thomas and is a 2010 graduate of the Air and Space Basic Course, Squadron Officer College. Meanwhile, the part of this job that I really love is inspiring others. The flight surgeon who cleared me for my ride asked if I ever went to SoulCycle or ran marathons, two things that would make me better at handling g-forces. Today theres only one female Thunderbird pilot: Major Michelle Curran, a 32-year-old Wisconsin native who flies the coveted Opposing Solo position. a cannon ball at almost 200 mph, crossing in flight, before releasing the December 31, 2019 / 4:08 PM And, keep others in the saddle who are struggling. Your content is extremely powerful, I am sure that you will be able to support both people and companies to direct their energy in a better way to achieve their goals. Im also excited to get into the general aviation world and hopefully also try my hand at helicopters. She was applying to scholarship programs when her father suggested looking into the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). 6, also known as the opposing solo pilot. Michelle Curran didn't become interested in flying until college, but she certainly was not afraid of heights growing up in Wisconsin. On Sunday, Curran didn't fly reallyhigh, but she flewin close formation at 400 mph with five other Thunderbirds, the prestigious Air Force flight demonstration team, at the Super Bowl in Atlanta. Courtesy of Wine SpectatorThis years tour to feature 10 completely new wineries that have never previously poured at this highly anticipated annual event Oenophiles in Florida, Chicago and Las Vegas up for an unforgettable evening of exceptional wines are in for a treat. In the hours following our interview, Im ushered from a flight surgeon to on-the-ground training for my flight to a fitting for the g-suit to one rather alarming explanation of how to use the planes ejector seat. RELATED:Kenneth Sweet survived Pearl Harbor attack, helped found Wisconsin Air National Guard, RELATED:Fly along on an F-16 while we tell you what will take its place at Truax Field. This button displays the currently selected search type. Norah O'Donnell is the anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News." Kenneth Sweet survived Pearl Harbor attack, helped found Wisconsin Air National Guard, Fly along on an F-16 while we tell you what will take its place at Truax Field, Your California Privacy Rights / Privacy Policy. In hindsight, this response to adversity was so flawed. Drawing from her 13 years as a Fighter Pilot, Curran delivers actionable content and wit to leave audiences both informed and entertained. MACE I really appreciate your service and you sharing it with the rest of us. 2023 The Super Bowl was the first time Curran's parents had seen their daughter performing with the Thunderbirds. I didnt realize I was nervous about the day ahead, though, until I was halfway to the 177th Fighter Wing of the Atlantic City Air National Guard Base. six F-16 Fighting Falcons that roar through the skies, to demonstrate the power Windmiller, Long Islands Maj. Curran is widely known as a member of theU.S. Air Force Flight Demonstration Team, the Thunderbirds. I'm the first female to fly in that. She has additionally served as an F-16 Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander on the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Fort Worth, Texas. been flying since 14 year old, soloed at 16 year old and started aerobatic The 31-year-old Medford native isthe first female demonstration pilot for the Thunderbirds since 2014. Is she nervous at all? He entered the Air Force in 2002 as a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Caldwell graduated from the F-16 Replacement Training Unit at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., in 2005. Copyright 2023 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved. Flying an F-16 also requires an incredibly high degree of athleticism. country, mimicking the astonishing stunts of Sean D. Tucker, a living legend Vulnerability isnt a weakness, its a super power as a leader! In the Facebook put up saying her profession transition, Michelle Curran wrote: Ill be continuing to serve in a part time capacity and pursing some goals in the business world. This is Currans third season with the Thunderbirds. n.push=n;n.loaded=!0;n.version='2.0';n.queue=[];t=b.createElement(e);t.async=!0; annual Jones Beach air show Ive seen almost all of them and though many of During the latter a part of her function on the group, many airshows had been cancelled due to the worldwide pandemic. Hornet, traveling at 700 mph, nearly breaking the sound This isnt a new thing., Currans doing her part to change that perception. Source: "Major Michelle Curran, call sign "Mace," is the only female fighter pilot on the Thunderbirds." AviationFreak 01:11, 28 November 2020 (UTC) I chose [No Doubts] Im Just a Girl.. "A lot of people who see the Thunderbirds or the Blue Angels. Her call sign is Mace (which she uses in her social media, @mace_curran) and while she doesnt reveal the secret to what is behind the nickname, she says it is a tradition in a fighter squadron to get a call sign they are mission qualified. In total, Curran logged 1,500 total flight hours with the Air Force, including 163 combat hours in Afghanistan as part of Operations Freedoms Sentinel and Resolute Support. After nearly a decade of active service, including deployments to Afghanistan and Japan, Curran applied to the Thunderbirds. Send comments or questions to[emailprotected]. I was told by others again and again how they could never do what I was doing and that I must be so brave. Just 2% of pilots are women. I started to grow an Adventure Mindsetone of curiosity, openness to new things, and a completely fresh perspective on failure. I made a promise to myself that I would stop letting my self-doubt and fear of failure control every decision. Police at the time . day, the Coast Guard, with fewer members than can fit in Yankee Stadium, save Her aunt Sara Cook, Bill's sister, planned to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, too. Game on. I see that look on faces that light bulb moment., She is the fifth woman to fly with the Thunderbirds (the first was in 2005). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft. Looking for Michele Curran online? Theres still a long way to go before the Air Force hits total parity, but Curran doesnt see herself as an outlier. Michelle "MACE" Curran Motivational Speaker, Thunderbird Pilot 19-21', AF Fighter Pilot, Aspiring Author, Outdoor Enthusiast I help teams get unstuck by empowering them Published Jun 3 . I'm the first female to fly in that position, which is, I think, one of the hardest positions to fly," Curran said. He performs snap rolls, inverted flat spin Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. aerobatic helicopter in the US. the performances repeat year after year, or follow a two-year cycle, this show Previously, many opportunities had come up that I was drawn to but had stopped myself from pursuing because of the risk of failure that came with them. US Air Force Major Michelle Curran is aware that she is such an inspiration to women and girls everywhere a role she embraces, along with her mission, as a member of the Thunderbirds demo team to recruit, retain, inspire. It is hard to say which she enjoys more the look on a young girls face when she realizes that Curran was flying those death-defying maneuvers in her F-16 fighter jet, or the thrill of flying those death-defying maneuvers in her F-16 fighter jet, going from 1500 feet altitude straight up to 15,000 feet in a matter of seconds. | By Destination Brevard | Facebook Log In Forgot Account? I appreciate your transparency and realness! Taylor is a 2010 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he majored in Systems Engineering. Its all very professional in the air with the comm. I got to watch the USAF Thunderbirds arrive at MacArthur Airport ahead of their headlining appearance at the Bethpage Air Show over Memorial Day Weekend at Jones Beach State Park, and then got to speak with the pilots. Add to List. They plan to travel to Las Vegas, where she recently moved to be near Nellis Air Force Base, early next month to see the Thunderbirds perform a flyover at a NASCAR race. And she is aware of what seeing a woman in her role can mean. His army expertise consists of being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company F, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). John Klatt Airshows Michelle "MACE" Curran Public figure Speaker, Author, Thunderbird Pilot 19-21' Lover of mountains, fitness, and adventure! Anyone with information about Curran's case is asked to call the Riverside County Sheriff's Office at (909) 341-8817 or the Metropolitan Police Department's Missing Persons Detail at 229-2907. .