Veterans Flight Pilot Carey Hardin (aft cockpit) flies Navy Stearman #469 over Pensacola Beach during Veterans Flight 2014
While LtGen Duane “Drano” Thiessen, USMC (Ret), President and CEO of the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation,
Tries to figure out why the Stearman isn’t as fast as the F-18’s he flew in the Marine Corps
Carey Hardin is a Veterans Flight regular who brings his Navy and/or Army Stearman from Starkville, Mississippi. He is a professional engineer with a Master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Mississippi State. In addition to being an experienced Stearman pilot, he is an FAA certificated flight instructor (CFI) with more than 5,000 hours of flight time in more than 50 different models of general aviation and former military aircraft.
Carey is also an instructor and check pilot for Stearman Flight, a nationwide organization dedicated to enhancing safety and proficiency in Stearman formation flying. Stearman Flight is authorized by the FAA to provide formation flight training and certification to Stearman pilots.
In addition to flying in Veterans Flight, Carey leads the Stearman Flight team that performs every November in the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at NAS Pensacola. It’s easy to understand why flying his Stearman as a tribute to the Greatest Generation is one of his favorite activities.
“Drano” Thiessen (center) expresses his appreciation for his successful Stearman flight by giving Carey Harden (left) and Roy Kinsey a Marine Corps hug.