Lubbock military pilot group takes students on the ride of their lives

Order of Daedalians took 58 Texas Tech ROTC students up in military planes
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 9:54 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Order of Daedalians, a military pilots association in Lubbock, is working to spark more interest in the United States military by taking 58 ROTC students from Texas Tech University up in planes.

One member, Larry Warmoth, says the Air Force is short thousands of pilots and this is just one way to get more young men and women interested in enlisting.

“I understand they’ll be fewer and fewer pilots in the airplanes, but that’s not going to happen for a long time, you’ll have every plane flying without a pilot,” Warmoth said. “So, in the meantime, we need people up in the air.”

The group has been doing this for 10 years. Warmoth says in that time, many students who have taken these rides have later been featured in the Air Force magazine.

“Young people who went to Texas Tech, and now they’re captains, and flying squadrons all over the world,” Warmoth said. “It makes you feel pretty good when you at least feel like you got to help them up along the way.”

These pilots in training were able to see how the navigation system works, learn about autopilot, and maybe get a chance to steer the plane.

“Got to fly the plane, that was definitely a new experience, and it was just a whole lot of fun,” freshman cadet James Ikard said.

Senior cadets remember it as a life-changing experience.

“It’s way different when you’re at the stick, controlling the airplane. It meant a lot to me, changed the way I wanted to do my life,” senior cadet Brennan Quick said. “So, now we’re here giving it back to the next generation.”

The dinner after was a chance for former pilots to mentor future ones, and tell them what life in the military can be like.

“Your life is at risk, these planes are dangerous, things can happen, things can go wrong, we can go to war,” Warmoth said. “You never know what’s going to happen, and it’s a job you can’t just say, ‘I quit.’ You swore an oath, so.”

Senior cadet Quick told KCBD this experience increased his passion for the Air Force.

Freshman cadets after riding in a military plane.
Freshman cadets after riding in a military plane.(KCBD, Peyton Toups)