Bill "Pirate" Mills
Bill graduated from United States Naval Academy in 1986. He was the first nugget naval aviator to be selected to fly F-18 Hornets. Bill served as a combat pilot and completed Two Fleet Tours in the Mediterranean with VFA 132 “Privateers” deployed aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Forrestal (CV-59) earning “Top Hook” honors. Mills was selected and attended the prestigious US Navy’s Fighter Weapons School, “Top Gun” at NAS Miramar in September and October of 1990 and went on to fly 16 Combat Sorties over Northern Iraq in support of Operation Desert Storm and Provide Comfort. Following his combat tour with the “Privateers”, Bill became an FA-18 flight instructor for the East Coast Replacement Air Group ( RAG) training squadron VFA-106 “Gladiators” at NAS Cecil Field while simultaneously serving as instructor and evaluator for the station’s C-12 (King Air B-200) logistics support aircraft. During that time Bill was also the East Coast Nuclear Weapons delivery instructor for all tactical aircraft authorized to deploy air launched nuclear weapons in the Navy’s inventory. Bill amassed over 1,300 FA-18 flight hours, over 3,300 total hours and 289 carrier arrested landings between 1987-1994.
Bill resigned his commission shortly after selection to the rank of Lt. Commander to enter the civilian world in l994 and in 2001 realizing that he needed to get back in the air, purchased his Nanchang CJ-6N tactical trainer, a high performance warbird painted up in his former Navy squadrons VFA-132 “Privateers” colors. He is a rated ATP,CFI,CFII, MEI,MEII and is a FAST rated lead/instructor formation pilot in addition to holding a Level 2 ACE card, 250’ waiver in L-39s,CJ-6 for airshow performances. When not flying Bill he can be found running the sales team of TBD Partners, based in Palm Coast, FL.
Hank "Hoot" Gibson
Designated a Naval Aviator in 1986, Hank served as a combat pilot and manager aboard three different aircraft carriers, amassing over 2,000 hours and 574 arrested landings between 1987-1995. In 1991 during the Gulf War he distinguished himself flying the A-7E Corsair and received numerous combat decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross. In recognition of his achievements, Hank was chosen as the Atlantic Fleet Aviator of the Year for 1991. Following transition to the FA-18 Hornet, he was an instructor for
the East Coast training squadron and successfully served as strike leader and carrier qualifications phase head. In 1995, Hank easily transitioned to a civilian aviation career and joined the exciting team at Gulfstream Aerospace. Hank currently flies for Fidelity National Financial, based in Jacksonville, Florida.
Jim "Pappy" Goolsby
Pappy is a retired commercial pilot with over 24, 000 hours of flying time. He started flying lessons at 15 and worked summers pumping gas as a “line boy” at a local airport in Miami in the mid 1950’s, and then became a flight instructor, right out of high school, working for Mary Gaffney. In 1962 he became a co-
pilot flying DC-3’s for Bahama Airways. Soon thereafter he enlisted in the US Army as a missile repairman. You will notice he has the only CJ with missile pods under each wing. Discharged in 1965 he
was hired by Pan American Airways initially as a navigator and eventually flew Boeing 707’s and 757-400’ s until they sold their Pacific routes to United Airlines in Feb. 1986. Pappy then flew for United Airlines as a Captain in Boeing 747-400’s, and retired on April Fool’s Day 2000.
Jim has built a Pitt’s Special aerobatic bi-plane, and restored and owned 5 or 6 other airplanes. He has over 2,000 hours flight time in various warbirds (B-17, C-47, CJ-6A and Yaks) and is type rated in every Boeing except the 737. Jim is typed and flies the only remaining B-24J Liberator for the Collings Foundation. He is also an airframe mechanic and is presently covering the flight controls of a TBM for the Commerative Air Force.