By Lt. j.g. Robert Maul
VP-16 recently qualified CWO3 Dan Haller as a P-3C Orion patrol plane commander (PPC) – making him the first chief warrant officer PPC in P-3 fleet history. As a qualified PPC, Haller will be tasked to ensure the safe operation of the P-3C and ensure the crew and the aircraft return home safely.
The Flying Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Program was instituted in January of 2006. This extremely competitive program takes highly motivated enlisted Sailors and commissions them as warrant officers to complete training as naval pilots and naval flight officers (NFOs). The program allows chief warrant officers to serve as pilot or NFO in the P-3, EP-3, E-6 and the helicopter communities.
The goal behind qualifying warrant officers is to create naval pilots and NFOs who are not restricted to the career path that is taken by unrestricted line officers.
Haller enlisted in the Navy in August 1997 as an aviation machinist mate. He attended aircrew school and was soon qualified as a P-3C Orion flight engineer. He successfully completed tours with VP-9 and later as an instructor flight engineer at the P-3C Fleet Replacement Squadron, VP-30.
Haller was commissioned Dec. 1, 2006. After attending aviation preflight indoctrination and primary flight training in Pensacola, Haller completed advanced flight training in Corpus Christi, Texas and received his wings of gold in August 2008. He then returned to VP-30, this time as a student pilot, and was then assigned to VP-16 in May 2009.
Haller said, “It is an honor to pave the way for future warrant officer aviators. My only goal is to set the standard for all other flying warrants in the fleet.”
The historic achievement that Haller has accomplished serves as an example to all enlisted Sailors that other opportunities for advancement are available to them. The success that Haller has had during his career in naval aviation, as both an enlisted Sailor and as an officer, will bring the intrinsic benefits of the Flying Chief Warrant Officer Pilot Program to the attention of many within the aviation community and the Navy.
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jaxairnews.jacksonville.com/military/jax-air-news/2011-03-09/story/vp-16-qualifies-first-cwo-patrol-plane-commander?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4da86b4a44653c5d%2C1#ixzz1JvzM5lQ7