LATHAM, NY (06/21/2017) (readMedia)-- New York Army National Guard helicopter pilot Charles "Chuck" Rodda, a Johnsonville resident and Iraq War veteran, will end his 31-year military career as a military helicopter pilot on Thursday, June 22 with a traditional "Final Flight" landing ceremony at New York National Guard headquarters here.
Members of the press are invited to cover this event.
WHO: Chief Warrant Officer 5 Charles Rodda, an Army National Guard helicopter, with more than 5,700 hours of flying time.
WHAT: Military "Final Flight" event in which Rodda will take his last flight as a military pilot. At 3 p.m., when he lands, he will be greeted by colleagues and family. The event usually includes a "wet down" of the pilot and the aircraft returns to the flight facility underneath arches of water thrown by airport fire trucks.
WHEN: 2:45, Thursday, June 22, 2017
WHERE: New York National Guard Headquarters, 330 Old Niskayuna Road, Latham, NY, 12110
Members of the press interested in covering Rodda's final flight must contact the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Public Affairs Office for access to this secure military facility at 518-786-4581
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Charles Rodda is an instructor pilot in the UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota helicopters flown by the New York Army National Guard.
Rodda has flown 5,787 hours in the UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, the AH-1 Cobra helicopter gunship, the UH-60 Blackhawk flown in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the UH-72 Lakota light utility helicopter used for domestic operations by the Army National Guard.
He joined the Army National Guard in 1982 and served as a medic until 1985 when he became a helicopter pilot.
During his career he deployed to Honduras twice, as well as to Nicaragua and Iceland in support of military operations. He also played a role in the New York National Guard response to the Ice Storm of 1998 and Tropical Storms Lee and Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012. He was also part of the New York Army National Guard aviation task force which responded to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005.
Rodda deployed to Iraq in 2008 and 2009 as battalion safety officer and instructor pilot with the 3rd Battalion 142nd Aviation.
He has served as the state aviation safety officer and the state standardization instructor pilot.
Rodda and his wife Michelle have three children: Charlie, Jacqueline and Lily.