Member, John “Cabi” Cabigas, Pilots James May Into Space

“Cabi” Cabigas, USAF

Long-time FASF member, John “Cabi” Cabigas, (at Left) flew the famous BBC Commentator, James May, into Space in the First Aero’s Dragon Lady, and did it at the First Aero Squadron’s current location at Beale Air Force Base (BAFB) North of Sacramento, CA. Of course Cabi conducted that great space adventure while still on active duty with the USAF as one of the famed Lockheed U-2 Dragon Lady Instructor Pilots.  Here is a short 30 minute summary of that memorable flight’s full documentary, which had, as its central figure, TV Journalist, James May,   Most of the full-length documentary was made by the BBC, but some was shot by the USAF.

Here, below, is another flight aboard the Dragon Lady, but without either Cabi or James May.  It is only :10 minutes long, but the resolution of the video is higher.  But if you’d like to see both Cabi and James May, you’ll only see them in the first video above.  In the meantime, Cabi advises that Amazon Prime has the full documentary in high resolution, should you be able to view that version:

If you click right here, you will get chance to witness Cabi again, as your webmaster interviews him, along with his fellow Dragon Lady Instructor Pilot, Bill Williams.  Both gentlemen were video-taped at the 100th Anniversary of the First Aero Squadron’s birth, held at Beale AFB, CA. 

Cabi lives nearby the Air Force base and keeps himself busy flying his own classic 1940 J3 Cub, which has a mighty 65HP engine to help it race aloft.  Your reporter soloed in one of them – sans brakes and tail wheel – back in 1944.  Since retiring from active duty in 2010, Cabi has remained an active member of his local chapter of the EAA and belongs to other aviation groups, as well.

When he graduated from San Jose State University in the AFROTC, he had also gained his FAA Certification as an A&P mechanic!  That in and of itself was quite an unusual accomplishment.

Major Cabigas’ USAF Pilot career spanned just shy of a quarter century, and involved 18 years of working with the Dragon Lady.   He holds a FAA Certified Flight instructor (CFI) Rating along with both a Commercial and Airline Transport Pilot License.  His activities with the EAA are largely motivated by his interest in sharing his love of aviation with the many Young Eagles who are lucky enough to get an airplane ride with this accomplished Air force Pilot, an American military aviator who was actually born in the Philippines!

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