Former DANG wing commander finishes his final flight

By Amy Cherry 2:37pm, October 5, 2012
WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.
A former wing commander in the Delaware Air National Guard takes his final flight.

WDEL's Amy Cherry was on-hand to see it.

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Colonel Jonathan Groff got behind the cockpit, put on his headphones, and soared in the sky for what would be his final military flight.

After more than three decades and 6,000 hours in the sky, Groff is retiring, but for him, it still felt like the first time.

"Anytime you get in an airplane, it's exhilarating, and it's the safest place to be - better than the highways around here," he says.

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He tells WDEL his fini flight was pretty relaxing.

"Just going up there, flying around the pattern, doing some touch and go's, and then ending with an overhead pattern to a full stop, just a very enjoyable day. A lot of birds up there, so we had to do some dodging to avoid the birds, but other than that..." he trails off.

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He calls his time in the military very rewarding.

His wife and his son were on-hand to hose him down when he stepped off the giant C-130, a longstanding military tradition.

"I enjoyed every part of it, and I had a great opportunity to fly all over the world, many countries and seeing a lot of neat places and meeting a lot of neat people," Groff says.

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"Actually, I owe them because they both squirted me with water so I'll have to get them back," says Groff.

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And as for retiring, well, that's just from the military. He tells me no matter what he'll still be flying.

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