• Last modified 1620 days ago (Jan. 16, 2020)


Marine pilot takes detour over county

Staff writer

Marion native and Marine Corps helicopter pilot Louis Holt has made cross-country flights before, but last week’s trip gave him the opportunity to view his hometown from above as he flew over Marion and Hillsboro.

“It was nice to see Marion,” he said. “There are a lot of people who helped me throughout the years, from school teachers to family friends.”

The pilots’ original route from North Carolina to Colorado Springs for training would have taken them near Herington, but Holt said his commanding officer gave permission for the group to detour.

“It was really cool to be able to fly over Marion,” he said. “It’s not every day you get to fly over your hometown.”

The helicopters used by Holt and the other pilots were CH-53E Super Stallions, 99-foot-long aircraft designed for carrying troops and heavy cargo of up to 30,000 pounds.

While he hasn’t deployed yet, Holt said he is looking forward to picking up a squad to go on a mission.

“It’s working with a team,” he said. “Looking in the back of the helicopter and seeing… the ability to project our force and readiness when we’re called on to execute that mission.”

Holt joined the Air Force in 2009, and switched to the Marines a few years later.

After clearing ground training and attending Kansas State University, Holt became a helicopter pilot in 2015 and entered active duty that same year.

“It’s a different type of flying,” he said. “You have different considerations, different airspaces and plane considerations going into places you’ve never been. It makes you use other skills you’re not used to.”

Last modified Jan. 16, 2020