Charles "Tuna" Hainline
Charlie was born in Medford, Oregon in 1964. He grew up on a small farm and worked his way through college harvesting wheat and grass seed in the Willamette valley. He saved up and learned to fly when he was 18—his instructor would land the Aeronca Champ on a farm road near the field Charlie was working and give him a lesson at lunch time. After graduating from Oregon State University, Charlie was accepted to USAF Officer Training School and was commissioned a 2nd Lt in October 1986. After pilot training, Charlie flew the A-10 in Korea and in Louisiana, where they started calling him “Tuna”, then moved on to the F-117 Stealth Fighter at Tonopah Test Range, NV and Holloman AFB, NM. After the F-117 he was accepted as an exchange officer with the Navy, where he flew the F/A-18 Hornet in VFA-106. As a RAG (RTU) instructor, he was carrier qualified with well over 100 traps (101, to be exact). He then was re-assigned to the F-117 where he saw combat action over Belgrade in the Kosovo conflict. During this time, Tuna flew multiple combat missions during Operation ALLIED FORCE where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action over Belgrade. After the F-117, Tuna flew the F-4F with the German RTU at Holloman AFB, NM then finished his career flying the QF-4, becoming the first F-4 West Heritage Pilot. In 2006, Tuna retired as a Lt Col and Command Pilot with over 5,000 total hours in the T-37, T-38, A-10, F-117A, F/A-18A/B/C/D, T-34C, F-4F, and QF-4E/G. His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Aerial Achievement Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one device, Air Force Achievement Medal with three devices, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Air and Space Campaign Medal, and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.
After retirement, Tuna was hired by Southwest Airlines and flies the 737. He spends his spare time working on airplanes—he has restored a Stearman, T-6, J-3 Cub, DHC-2 Beaver, Beech 18, and Grumman Albatross. In 2006, Tuna was fortunate enough to be invited to fly with the Lone Star Flight Museum, in Galveston, TX, where he is qualified on the PT-17, T-6, B-17, B-25, P-47, F4U, AD Skyraider, and the P-51.
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