Inside DI

DynCorp International Pilot, Craig Hunt, Honored at Memorial Service

DynCorp International pilot, Geoffrey “Craig” Hunt, was honored by hundreds at a memorial service held Tuesday, October 21, 2014. Hunt was tragically killed on October 7, 2014, while flying an S-2T air tanker deployed to suppress and control a wildfire at Yosemite National Park. He supported DI’s program with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as CAL FIRE.

Fellow CAL FIRE pilots, firefighters, and other first responders joined Hunt’s family as well as DI and CAL FIRE representatives to honor his life and show their respects.

James Myles, DynCorp International senior vice president, DynAviation, spoke of the bravery of first responders and the specialized skills required of CAL FIRE pilots.

“I know why Craig Hunt volunteered to come and fly with CAL FIRE. He wanted to make a difference,” said Myles. “He fought fires and flew the way he lived his life – to the fullest, thinking of others before himself, with no regrets.”

Remembering “The Professor”

Hunt, of San Jose, Calif., was a U.S. military veteran with a proud history of service to others. He served as a U.S. Navy P3 pilot from 1975-1984 and served in the Reserves for 20 years. He supported DI’s CAL FIRE program for more than 12 years.

“Craig, who we called ‘The Professor,’ was a valued member of the DI team and he will be greatly missed,” said Jeffrey Cavarra, DynCorp International program director.

Hunt earned a Master’s degree in Business from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Biochemistry from the University of Santa Cruz, and served as a chemistry teacher in the off season at the University of Santa Cruz. He had a love for flying, golfing, fishing, hiking, bird watching, scuba diving, math/sciences, teaching, and dogs. He is survived by his wife, Sally Keenan Hunt; two daughters, Sarah Hunt Lauterbach and Nancy Hunt; two brothers, one sister and his father.

DynCorp International and the CAL FIRE Program

DynCorp International has worked with CAL FIRE since 2001 helping suppress and control wild land fires in California.

As part of the program, DI flies and maintains Grumman S-2T fire retardant air tankers and OV-10A aircraft, and fully maintains and services civilian UH-1H Super Huey helicopters flown by CAL FIRE pilots. Operating from across California, aircraft can reach most fires within 20 minutes. The OV-10A aircraft fly over fires, directing the air tankers and helicopters to critical areas for retardant and water drops. The retardant used to slow or retard the spread of a fire is a slurry mix consisting of a chemical salt compound, water, clay or a gum-thickening agent, and a coloring agent.

All CAL FIRE Aircraft are strategically located throughout the state at airbases and helicopter bases. During high fire activity, CAL FIRE may move aircraft to better provide statewide air support.

The department’s firefighters, fire engines, and aircraft respond to an average of more than 5,600 wild land fires each year. Those fires burn more than 172,000 acres annually.

Reader Interactions


  1. In Memory of Craig…

    ” They came in the evening, then, and found Jonathan gliding peaceful
    and alone through his beloved sky. The two gulls that appeared at his
    wings were pure as starlight, and the glow from them was gentle and
    friendly in the high night air. But most lovely of all was the skill with
    which they flew, their wingtips moving a precise and constant inch from
    his own. Without a word, Jonathan put them to his test, a test that no
    gull had ever passed. He twisted his wings, slowed to a single mile per
    hour above stall. The two radiant birds slowed with him, smoothly, locked
    in position. They knew about slow flying.
    He folded his wings, rolled and dropped in a dive to a hundred ninety
    miles per hour. They dropped with him, streaking down in flawless
    At last he turned that speed straight up into a long vertical
    slow-roll. They rolled with him, smiling.
    He recovered to level flight and was quiet for a time before he
    spoke. “Very well,” he said, “who are you?”
    “We’re from your Flock, Jonathan. We are your brothers.” The words
    were strong and calm. “We’ve come to take you higher, to take you home.”
    “Home I have none. Flock I have none. I am Outcast. And we fly now at
    the peak of the Great Mountain Wind. Beyond a few hundred feet, I can lift
    this old body no higher.”
    “But you can Jonathan. For you have learned. One school is finished,
    and the time has come for another to begin.”
    As it had shined across him all his life, so understanding lighted
    that moment for Jonathan Seagull. They were right. He could fly higher,
    and it was time to go home.
    He gave one last look across the sky, across that magnificent silver
    land where he had learned so much.
    “I’m ready ” he said at last.
    And Jonathan Livingston Seagull rose with the two starbright gulls to
    disappear into a perfect dark sky.”

  2. He will be missed! Outstanding contribution to our nation as a veteran and selfless service to the state of California.

    Rest in peace professor

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