Jon Engle is a lifelong aviator with over 6,000 hours of flying since he first soloed at the age of 14 in gliders. He soloed in 2 different powered airplanes on his 16th birthday before he had his driver’s license. Jon has a degree in Atmospheric Science and Meteorology and a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Sciences from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. In 1980, Jon entered the Air Force as a pilot.
Jon’s exciting 26 year Air Force career included flying the F-16, the A-10 and even a 3 year exchange tour flying FA-18s with the US Navy off aircraft carriers, before being chosen to fly the U-2 high altitude reconnaissance plane. His flying experience includes over 162 hours of combat flying and 38 aircraft carrier landings.
He has owned the same 1942 Piper Cub since 1977, and has taken it to Europe twice. He has flown from the edge of sand dunes in hang gliders, to the edge of space in the U-2. Jon holds Commercial, Single and Multi-Engine Land rating as well as Single Engine Seaplane and Instrument rating and Basic Hang Glider license.
Jon retired from the Air Force in 2011 and started his own aerial photography company in Charleston, South Carolina (www.GreenEyesAero.com). He works with a number of environmental and habitat monitoring organizations and never tires of spending his days flying low and slow over the beautiful marshlands, rivers and beaches. Jon writes, “Years of flying over other countries and other parts of the world have provided me with a deep appreciation of the natural beauty we still are hanging on to in the US. I want to do what I can from an airplane to protect the habitat and the wildlife we still have before it is all gone. SouthWings provides me that opportunity”.