Island pilot tours R.I. airports while on leave
A second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Sugalski, in a singleengine aircraft, took off from Newport State Airport and made his way as far north as North Central Airport in Lincoln, and as far south as Westerly State Airport. Along the way, the 24-year-old landed at every public airport in Rhode Island, including Block Island, Quonset, T.F. Green, and Richmond.
“It was a great experience to fly around the entire state,” Sugalski said. “I love flying.”
Sugalski, the son of Charles and Vivian Sugalski, was raised in Jamestown. He graduated from North Kingstown High School in 2005 with honors, and continued his education at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, N.H. The college – originally established as the New England Aeronautical Institute in 1965 – is located beside an airport and is known for the same thing that Sugalski covets – aviation.
While there, Sugalski attended the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. After graduation in 2009, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant, with many advanced aeronautical certifi cates, and a bachelor’s degree in science and a minor in business management. He graduated magna cum laude as a flight operations student, keeping his GPA north of 3.7.
He wasted no time returning to Rhode Island after graduation, and working as a flight instructor for Newport Aviation.
“Unfortunately, I only had one month before I entered active duty,” he said.
After graduating from college in May, Sugalski was assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California in June to become an aircraft maintenance officer. Soon after he was assigned to be the assistant aircraft maintenance unit officer, and was put in charge of 350 personnel and 18 C-5 aircraft in the 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The C-5 is one of the largest military aircraft in the world, and each unit cost nearly $170 million.
Sugalski is working to advance his way up the military career chain and is currently the executive officer for a colonel at Travis Air Force Base. He is also pursuing his master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
“My big-picture goal is to increase awareness of aviation in Rhode Island,” Sugalski says.
Home on leave from the Air Force, it was time for 2nd Lt. Sugalski to relax a bit.
“I could not have asked for a more enjoyable experience during my leave.”