David Hixon combined his love of flying and his patriotic zeal when he enlisted in the Army Officers’ Candidate School in 2005. The patience and hard work of the 24-year-old paid off when Hixon, a resident of Palm Springs, Calif., was commissioned Aug 18, 2007 as a second lieutenant in the 1st-140th Aviation Battalion of the Army’s California National Guard at Los Alamitos, Calif. After completing combat flight training at Fort Rucker, Ala., he’ll be deployed overseas to serve his country.
Hixon, born in Bethesda., Md., has always wanted to fly. Both his grandparents, Lee and Phil Hixon of Rancho Mirage, Calif., are helicopter pilots who get lots of airtime flying their personal helicopter.
Hixon first flew with his grandparents while in diapers. Grandfather Hixon, a certified chief flight instructor, taught Hixon to fly when he turned 18. He got his pilot’s license a year later.
Hixon has been working part time at the Palm Springs Air Museum for the past five years, as airplane mechanic and helicopter pilot, ferrying PSAM pilots to and from shows, getting invaluable work experience in his chosen dream field.
Hixon piloted the family helicopter, which lives just the other side of the tarmac across from PSAM, while chief mechanic and videographer Matt Voigt shot the footage of the Palm Springs Air Museum planes in flight.
“You can do a lot more with a helicopter than you can with a plane,” he said. “They’re really cool. You can see more and do more— land and take off from more areas. Piloting a helicopter is an awesome feeling. There’s an incredible sense of freedom.”