Pennsylvania State Liaison
Courtesy of a Royal Air Force (RAF) scholarship, 18-year-old Al Corden earned his private pilot's licence in a Tiger Moth at Marshall’s Airport, Cambridge. Naturally, this lead to his joining the RAF where he spent an enthusiastic eleven years flying Chipmunks, Gnats, Vulcans, and Canberras in the far flung outposts of Her Majesty’s Empire.
Retiring in 1974, Al worked offshore in the oil and gas business bringing him to Houston, TX, and a whole new country. Falling oil prices saw yet another career change – back to aviation, and a move to the Northeast U.S.
A couple of decades and two airlines later, Al took an early retirement, having flown the Line, been a flight instructor, and finally Director of Training at a startup A320 Operation in Pennsylvania.
Al is married to Sabrina Kipp, who now flies a B737 for Southwest Airlines having flown everything from round motor Convair 440s, DC 6s to a B25, her other part-time job.
Retirement was also the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong ambition, building his own “aeroplane” – a Zenith STOL CH-750 - a two-year project now going on four. Al and Sabrina also own a Stinson 108, what Al calls “a truly delightful vintage aeroplane, and a tailwheel classic.”
At Sun ‘n Fun 2014, the couple came across a group of orange-shirted individuals offering a plentiful supply of pilot bait – coffee and donuts. Shortly thereafter they were both fully paid-up members of the “Recreational” RAF.
“I see the RAF as an opportunity to give back to aviation, a world that has provided so much for both Sabrina and me,” Al says. The RAF mission is something they both see as an important one. “I look forward to spreading the word to fellow pilots in Pennsylvania, and educating them in the potential the RAF offers for more interesting places to take their family, to camp, hike and fish – a great alternative to Joe’s Airport Diner,” he adds.