CTANG's newest "pilot" tours the base

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Mead
  • 103rd Public Affairs
The Connecticut Air National Guard's newest Flying Yankee was shown the ropes May 3, 2013, during the Pilot for A Day program at Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby, Conn.

The Pilot for A Day Program was developed so that a child with a terminal illness could be invited to be a "pilot" at an Air Force base. It was created in 1994, by Capt. Rory "Ox" Blackburn at Randolph AFB, Texas.

The program here was put on by the 118th Airlift Squadron for Logan Schoenhardt, 6, and involved bringing him through the same process that a pilot does in getting ready for a mission.

Not long after his third birthday, Logan was having some balance problems. An MRI showed a tumor in his skull that was diagnosed as cancer. Following surgery to remove the tumor, Logan was cancer-free for about a year but in November of 2012, it returned and he now is continuing treatment.

He's just an amazing little kid, he's got a really good attitude and he's really positive and upbeat. He loves life and he really has just dealt with everything--all the trials--in spite of it all, he's so happy," said Logan's mom, Josephine Schoenhardt.

The day started off with a breakfast in the operations building and was followed by a swearing-in ceremony where Logan was honored with (the pilot for a day) rank. After his swearing-in, Logan was given his intelligence brief, pre-flight briefs and then headed out to try on his survival gear.

The next stop was taking a seat in the cockpit of the C-21, but the fun didn't stop there. Logan and his friend, Andrew, got to take a ride in the Bradley fire trucks and spray the hoses on the back ramp. The goal was to knock down some cones that were setup to simulate a fire.

"I had no idea of the extent of all the things that we were going to see--it was just an amazing amount of effort and planning that went into it. It was almost overwhelming--it was very special," said Matthew Schoenhardt, Logan's dad.