Ex-Marine One Pilot: I Could Read a President's Moods

Friday, 30 May 2014 01:22 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
An ace pilot who flew four U.S. presidents aboard Marine One says he always knew when a commander-in-chief felt down and out.

"You can tell when they have a tough day," Col. Ray "Frenchy" L'Heureux told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"You remain apolitical in the job and you're providing a service. But it does not mean that you can't read it on their faces or you just know that they're just looking for some down time.''

L'Heureux — who jetted George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama — is the author of "Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine, and the World's Most Amazing Helicopter," published by St. Martin's Press.

He said he knew early on that he was destined to soar through the skies, when, at the age of 12, his mother treated him to a flying lesson. Allowed to man the controls for part of the flight, L'Heureux was hooked.

"It's one of those things growing up, growing up just outside of Boston and we were in the flight path of Logan Airport," L'Heureux said.

"You'd just always look up and back then to become an airline pilot [you] still had that romantic notion of flying.... I don't think that holds true to today, but I knew that was the path I wanted to go down.''

Story continues below video.



Initially, L'Heureux said, he only planned to do a single tour of duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and then train for a career as a commercial airline pilot.

"But something happened on the way to the bank and I fell in love with the organization," he said.

In 1991, he joined as a member of HMX1 — the elite Marine Helicopter Squadron One flying George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, their vice presidents and cabinet members.

In 2006, he became commanding officer of the squad, flying George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

L'Heureux retired in 2011 and now lives in Hawaii with fond memories of his time in the service.

And while he has many, one of his favorites is making the descent to the White House landing pad.

"Just … coming off the Potomac River, [there's the] Washington Monument right on your right, and you [make] a short final right into the backyard of the White House,'' L'Heureux said.

"That never gets old — even the last time I did it as a commander.''

L'Heureux said he enjoyed working for all four presidents, but was able to forge a friendship with George W. Bush. The two became mountain bike buddies.

"They were all personable,'' he said.

"Bush 41 and Bush 43 more so because they went to Camp David a lot and because we would stay at Camp David as guests of the president because they have to keep the pilots up there. You do things with them.''

See "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Fox News Blocked From Dish Network

Sunday, 21 Dec 2014 15:20 PM

Dish Network subscribers were unable to watch Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network on Sunday when the channels  . . .

Rep. Erik Paulsen: Obamacare About to Hit Every American

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 18:41 PM

Minnesota Rep. Erik Paulsen says that every American is about to feel the effects of Obamacare when tax season hits in 2 . . .

FALN Victim's Son: Return 2 Cop Killers Living in Cuba to US

Friday, 19 Dec 2014 17:45 PM

Two cop killers brazenly living in Cuba must be returned to the United States now that new diplomatic relations have bee . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved