Former Air Force 2 pilot Director of the Aviation Program at Roc - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Former Air Force 2 pilot Director of the Aviation Program at Rocky Mountain College

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

Rocky Mountain College has its own connection to Vice President Pence's visit.

The plane Pence is flying in is a c-32A and the same place Director of Aviation Dan Hargrove used to fly.

Hargrove flew for former Vice Presidents Gore and Cheney and has also flown for President George W Bush.

He now spends most of his days at the Aviation Building at Rocky Mountain College but before this chapter of his life, he spent time with dignitaries flying through the air.

For seven years the C-32A was Hargrove's second home.

He recounted "The phone rings and you go. For the most part, you're glad to go and that's what your job is."

He wasn't just assigned this prestigious duty though, 21 years in the Air Force led him to Joint Air Force Base Andrews in Maryland.

Hargrove said he "flew a typical pilots career."

He was first a flight instructor and flew cargo planes before being hired at Andrews Air Force base.

Hargrove said it was a very competitive process but he did well.

Flying the plane was like flying a commercial airliner but the guests on board had some perks.

"When you're landing with a diplomat to negotiate world peace you want to make sure they're well rested, that they have the food they needed, that secure communications they needed was all there so we paid attention to the smallest of details," Hargrove said.

The four C-32A are used to transport more than just Vice Presidents, the first family, cabinet members, and other top officials can also use the planes.

Hargrove's favorite passenger during his time was always Former First Lady Laura Bush.

He said, "she was just a classy woman and treated everyone well."

He even his a picture of Mrs. Bush with his family sitting on a shelf in his office at Rocky.

Besides the people, Hargrove and his family got to meet his favorite part of the job was getting the opportunity to travel the world.

Hargrove said, "The fun part was the overseas travel so I had three different trips where I took a passenger, the Secretary of State for example, literally around the world. As a pilot just getting to fly internationally and land in Africa or fly to India was just fascinating and really challenging and fun."

Once you take the politics out of it Hargrove said his passengers were just regular people.

He said, "I saw these people up close and personal. Everyone was a patriot, everyone was working super hard for what they believed in. They were not evil, they were not taking the taxpayers money. They all really cared. It doesn't mean you like their politics but I can assure your their work ethic was outstanding.'

Hargrove added while Air Force Two doesn't get as much special attention as Air Force One his goal was to always land on time give or take ten seconds and he was never late.

90 countries and two Vice Presidencies later Hargrove has made his final stop in Billings where he can help young and upcoming pilots. 

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