We assembled a crew consisting of folks from Lemoore, San Diego, and Malibu CA, and even all the way out in Pensacola, FL. The reason we are traveling to Long Beach is not just to launch our pizza into epic new heights, but also to re-assemble our crew of Naval aviators and NFOs. Currently, there is one amongst our ranks who no longer has the opportunity fly as a pilot. Towards the the end of flight school, Kyle, the crew member traveling the furthest from Pensacola became ill and was no longer able to continue to fly. He was later diagnosed with cancerous tumor in his lungs. As a result he had to discontinue flight training as they removed the tumor and part of his right lung. Fortunately, the cancer is now gone and it is time to celebrate and move on! We have been looking forward to his west coast tour and we can think of no better time than this event to have his epic trip out here begin.
We look forward to flying in Long Beach in September.
The concept behind our aircraft is a few good men rallying behind one good food group: pizza.
When our team started to discuss the concept of what aircraft we should construct for this competition, we were all very torn. You see, we each had very strong feelings about what we felt is the best aircraft - we all have a background in aviation. The five of us met in the beginning phases of Naval flight training and have since broken out out into different fields. Two of us have gone on to the world of fighter jets with Dan being a F/A-18 pilot and Steve being a F/A-18 Naval Flight Officer/(NFO). Tim Lloyd landed an E-2 NFO, and Kyle and I became helicopter pilots. As a result of these different perspectives, there was dissension amongst the group regarding our choice flying machine in Long Beach.
During these debates, I frequently thought about a certain fine dining establishment that we frequented in Pensacola, FL… New Yorker Deli and Pizzeria. Far too many of our nights began with a pitcher of beer and a few solid pizzas. Finally, it clicked. What is the most beautiful thing to see flying through the air? A delicious pizza!
I then quickly shared that the best possible aircraft we could fly was something that wasn't made of steel, oil, blood, or sweat; instead, it was made of cheese, tomatoes and delicious dough. The group rallied behind this idea and now I find myself with five willing chefs and one giant flying pizza pie.