Friday, June 8, 2018

Windham graduate follows in grandfather’s footsteps to become an Air Force Pilot by Matt Pascarella

Devin Pellitier
Devin Pelletier, a 2012 graduate of Windham High School and a 2016 graduate of the Air Force Academy recently finished training and officially became a pilot, receiving his wings on May 18, 2018.

Pelletier gave a speech during his high school graduation as an Honor essayist. This speech was dedicated to service members as well as to his grandfather, Edmond Theriault who was a World War II B-17 pilot and recently honored for his service at last week’s Memorial Day event in Windham.

Pelletier wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and joined the Air Force. He knew that is what he wanted to do while in his junior year of high school, never once hesitating after upon making that realization.

There are a lot of opportunities in the Air Force. Initially, Pelletier was interested in becoming an engineer, but over time, he became more interested in becoming a pilot. His grandfather was a big influence on this decision.  

To become a pilot, he took academic classes the first month; and then began flying in a T-6 Texan II plane, which is an aircraft designed specifically to assist in training pilots. Pelletier learned airspace rules, how the systems worked and eventually switched over to a T-38 C Talon, a supersonic trainer. In this aircraft he focused more on formation flying and supporting other pilots in an air-to-air type fight.
At first, Pelletier said flying an aircraft was quite stressful; there’s a lot to pay attention to such as altitude, airspeed as well as all that is around you, listening to the radio and listening to the instructor. He stated that there’s always more to learn though; once you learn one skill you move on to another.
His grandfather was very happy for his grandson but was curious as to how Pelletier navigated. “We use GPS.” His grandfather shakes his head and replies, “We had to use the stars.”

Last week, Pelletier headed to Oklahoma for further training in a KC-135 plane, a military aerial refueling aircraft. This aircraft supports fighters when they need fuel. He will later travel to Okinawa, Japan where he will be stationed for two to three years flying the KC-135 plane.
We wish Pilot Pelletier the best.

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