Instructor Pilot Flies Son’s CH-47 'Nickel Ride'
U.S. Army Kelly Morris, Aviation Center of Excellence
October 23, 2022
A “nickel ride” at Fort Rucker’s flight
school was worth its weight in gold for one Army aviation family.
2nd Lt. Scott E. Moore Jr., a flight school student at Fort
Rucker, recently began the advanced track for the CH-47 Chinook
helicopter. After a few weeks of academics and familiarization in
the cockpit procedure trainer, it was time for Moore’s first real
lesson in the aircraft on October 7, 2022.
pilot was his own father ... Chief Warrant Officer 5 Scott E. Moore,
Sr., a CH-47 instructor pilot at Company B, 1st Battalion, 223d
October 7, 2022 -
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 5 Scott E. Moore Sr., a CH-47 Chinook helicopter instructor pilot at Company B, 1st Battalion, 223d Aviation Regiment, and 2nd Lt. Scott E. Moore Jr., a Chinook flight school student,
stand in front of a CH-47 Chinook before taking off for a training flight
at Fort Rucker. (U.S. Army photo by Kelly Morris, Aviation Center of Excellence)
“To be in the Army at the same time, and in
aviation at the same time, and flying the same aircraft at the same
time — I think it just shows how special an opportunity this is. I
think we’re both really excited,” 2nd Lt. Moore said.
“nickel ride,” traditionally the student procures a nickel with
their birth year on it to mark the occasion of the first flight.
While Moore’s nickel ride was in the UH-72 Lakota during his initial
rotary wing training, he did have one on hand for the occasion.
“They’ve been in simulations for two weeks. It’s their first
experience with the noise, the shaking, it’s a big aircraft from
what they’ve flown with the Lakota. It just gets the nerves out of
the way to say, ‘Hey, I can fly this thing. It’s huge, it’s loud,
but I can do this’,” said CW5 Moore.
The lesson is a
demonstration, and it’s all about building confidence, explained CW5
Having an aviator as a father, 2nd Lt. Moore grew up
around Army aviation. After graduating high school in 2017 and U.S.
Military Academy, West Point, New York, in 2021, then entering
flight school soon after, he knew his aircraft of choice was the
Chinook — one of the many aircraft that his father flew during his
“Anything a Black Hawk can do, a Chinook can
do better,” he said.
Hearing his dad talk about the CH-47
mission in combat resonated with 2nd Lt Moore.
drew me to Chinooks is the interpersonal aspect with Soldiers on the
ground. I love the idea of being able to load up guys to ride in the
back, pick them up after they’ve been doing whatever, or even
dropping off water or ammo, just being able to see that direct
CW5 Moore said the Army was a good career choice for
their family and he was happy to see his son take steps to continue
“We talk about going away for a year like other
people talk about cutting the grass, but we just do it. When we get
back, we go on vacation, we pick right back up. The Army’s been such
a great life for us,” CW5 Moore said. “And whether he spends his ten
years in and then gets out, or if he does 20 years or 30 or
whatever, just to know that we’ve continued the service to the
nation as a family is pretty important to us.”
“I agree,” 2nd
Lt Moore said. “Growing up in a military town and having a lot of
friends whose parents were also in the military, it just made me
proud and want to do the same thing.”
CW5 Moore recalled how
excited his son was when he took him to the simulators when he was
younger. To see him grow, and set his sights on the U.S. Military
Academy, and graduate, and then to branch aviation and make it to
flight school and complete the Lakota portion — so many steps he
witnessed as a parent. This flight was yet another step toward a
“You know the day’s coming. I’ve known for about a
month now. The emotions of thinking it’s coming, but I also don’t
want it to be over. Very rarely does a father and son get to take
off to fly together. We’re just blessed that it happened to us,” CW5
Early that morning, the two met up just to have a
few private words as father and son before they met later in the
classroom as IP and student.
“As a CW5 instructor pilot I’ve
done these flights a hundred times. I’m aware that it’s these
students’ first flight. But now you add the dad component into it.
To see the son that he’s become is amazing,” he said. “I know I’ll
be a dad, but as soon as we sit down and start doing aviation, my IP
switch will flip over, because I want him to know the aircraft he’s
going to be flying. I’ll switch into that mode. But the dad mode is
a little harder to deal with than I thought.”
looked on as his son participated in the classroom Q&A. Afterward,
he conducted the table talk portion one on one. They talked about
the route they would fly, signed for the keys and checked weight and
balance information, retrieved their gear, and walked across the
airfield side by side.
Together with the crew member they
completed the preflight, and then father and son climbed in the
cockpit as IP and student for the day.
“I don’t even like
driving with him,” joked 2nd Lt. Moore.
CW5 Moore said he was
grateful for the opportunity that day, and commended the cadre of
instructor pilots, including the lieutenant’s regular instructor Jed
W. Mays, who was on hand during the classroom portion prior to the
“All of them are so good,” he said. “They’ll teach
him everything he needs to know.”
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