Father-daughter aviators fly together
July 24, 2008
By Marti Gatlin
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (TRADOC News Service, July 24, 2008) --There are many "firsts" parents experience with their children - first word, first step, first school, first driving lesson - all usually before the kids leave the nest. But for one father and his grown daughter, a first happened for the pair recently in Daleville, Ala.
Army C-12 fixed wing pilots CW5 Pat Hicks and CW3 Felicia Marlow flew for the first time together this summer during refresher training at FlightSafety International.
Paired for the required training, the duo may be the first father/daughter team to conduct the five-day refresher course together in the Wiregrass.
"It feels weird to be training with (my) dad," said Marlow, 32, a Killeen, Texas native. "(It's) neat to get the opportunity to do this with my dad. We have a bond that (my) other siblings don't have."
A member of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C., Marlow has served nine years in the Army, flying AH-64 Apaches and C-12s. Her husband, Capt. David Marlow, serves as an OH-58D Kiowa Warrior pilot with 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bragg.
Hicks, 54, originally from Panama, served in the Army for 26 years during his first stint before retiring. He decided to return to the Army after more than seven years as a civilian pilot and has been serving back on active duty as the Battalion Aviation Materiel Officer since 2006 with the 3rd Military Intelligence Battalion at Camp Humphreys, Korea. "It just worked (out we) could come at the same time," Hicks said. "(Felicia's) a good pilot and she flies a lot. I'm just trying to keep up (with her in the training)."
The pair took turns during the course as a pilot and co-pilot as they trained on aircraft systems and conducted emergency procedures. The pilots' FlightSafety International flight instructor, Bob Ramsey said the aviators made a great team.
"They were very professional and their crew coordination was as good as any of the professional pilots I have ever flown with and both are very good pilots," he said. Marlow is continuing to carry the Family's important military legacy, following in her aviator dad's and granddad's footsteps. Her grandfather served as an Air Force pilot.
"What motivated me to follow in his footsteps (was, as a kid,) I thought his job was cool," Marlow said. "I feel like I'm carrying on a legacy. My grandfather, Earl, flew DC-3 and C-47 cargo planes in World War II. The experience is priceless." Hicks, who flew helicopters for 18 years and fixed wing for seven during his first Army service, said he's proud of his daughter's choice to serve America and the Army.
"She's done such a great job," he said. "Everyone raves about her." Hicks has closely followed his daughter's Army career - swearing her into the Army at the recruiting center in Dallas, as a warrant officer after Warrant Officer Candidate school and pinning on her wings here in 2000.