Kent “Eagle” Ewing
Captain, USN (Ret.) CFII, ATP BPT Instructor; Bronze Star; 15 Air Medals (Strike/Flight); Member, USN Golden Eagles; 1,100 Carrier Landings; 18,500+ hours
BPT: Tell us about yourself, Kent.
Kent: I’m Kent Ewing, I live in Virginia Beach and, I have a ’55 Baron, the tail number is 92WB.
BPT: Can you give us a taste of your legendary aviation career?
Kent: I soloed in 1962 in an Air Force Aero Club in a T34, and I’ve been flying ever since. I was scared that day because I was afraid I’d forget the landing gear, so I left it down. I flew over to Hemet and back to San Bernardino — and that started it all. I had a 28-year career in the Navy — from Vietnam to Desert Storm and all the little wars in between.
I had command of a squadron, an air wing, a surface ship and a carrier. And my greatest accomplishment in the Navy was to command an aircraft carrier in a war zone during Desert Storm. Subsequent to that, I did a couple of things, commercial flying and company flying. I initially got involved with BPPP [and later on with BPT] because the company I was with had a Baron. We went to the training, and I said, “You know, this is for me.”
The best thing I ever did post-Navy was to get my CFI. And I’ve been doing this now since 1995. We do it mostly for fun and for the people we meet.
BPT: How would you encourage pilots who are new to BPT to attend a weekend clinic?
Kent: The biggest benefit, in my opinion, is coming to a place where you can fly with comfort and care, knock the rust off, and renew the knowledge that you’ve been flying with for 100 hours a year. You don’t crank the gear down, and you don’t pop the door open, and you don’t do all these things that we do. We’ll do whatever you want to do, in the Bonanza, that you feel like will fill your needs. The people that come to these are the professional, general aviation pilots.
BPT: What are the biggest benefits BPT offers pilots?
Kent: I think it’s all of the ground school, the camaraderie, and of course, the meat and potatoes is the flying. The FAA sanctions our program for the ground and flight portion. All three of those are the benefit, plus you get a certificate that the insurance companies recognize. We don’t have the statistics, but I can bet if we had them, people that attend these clinics and do this sort of training, don’t have accidents.
BPT: You’ve commanded aircraft carriers, flown around the world multiple times in a variety of aircraft, commanded troops — what attracted you to BPT?
Kent: Because of the people, honestly. I like giving back. I really like flight instructing, and I’ve got a wealth of knowledge to continue giving back, and that’s the main reason.