CAP PARLIER AND his wife, Jeanne, live on the Great Plains of Kansas, along with two dogs and a cat. Their four children have begun their families – the treasures of life. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, a retired Marine aviator, Vietnam veteran and experimental test pilot, and has finally retired from the aerospace industry, so he can write full time – his passion for many years. Cap has numerous other projects completed and in the works, including novels, screenplays, historical novels and a couple of other history books.
CAP PARLIER LIVES in Wichita, Kansas, from military service and the corporate world to focus his energy on his passion for storytelling. Cap’s writings are inspired by his deep interest in history and his experiences as a test pilot for the military and private aviation companies. As with most folks, Cap’s experience is defined by his employment.
United States Marine Corps:
Okinawa, Japan; Patuxent River, Maryland; Camp Pendleton, California; Pensacola, Florida; Okinawa, Japan; Fort Benning, Georgia; Quantico, Virginia; Annapolis, Maryland
Distinguished military service in infantry, aviation, test & evaluation, and intelligence. Vietnam veteran. U.S. Navy Test Pilot School and Naval Air Test Center. Military Occupation Specialties: Attack Helicopter Pilot, Engineering Pilot, Parachutist, SCUBA Diver, Intelligence Officer, Logistics Embarkation Officer, Expert Rifle, Expert Pistol. Lieutenant Colonel, USMCR (Retired) after 25 years service.
Hughes Helicopters, Inc. (HHI) [later: McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Co. (MDHC)]:
Mesa, Arizona; Yuma, Arizona; Carlsbad, California
Director, LH Test & Evaluation: Responsible for the planning and proposal of a complex, multi-faceted, full scale development program. Supervised a three company, joint staff for high productivity. Innovative, broad range, component to full system test program.
Section Manager, Product Integration: Responsible for cross-product and cross-functional integration for several programs. MDHC President's Award.
Senior Experimental Test Pilot: Advanced, digital, flight control development. LHX Project Pilot. AHS, Frederick L. Feinberg Award, 1988. McDonnell Aircraft Co., President's Award, 1985.
Beech Aircraft (BAC) [Raytheon Corporate Jets (RCJ); later Raytheon Aircraft Co. (RAC)]:
Wichita, Kansas; Hatfield, England; Wichita, Kansas:
Chief Information Officer (RAC): Responsible for corporate, global, information management and systems. Change agent for corporate reengineering effort. Consolidation of multiple information systems groups.
Director, Hawker Indraw & Systems Development (RAC): Responsible for consolidation and integration of RCJ and BAC Engineering including transfer of all Intellectual Property from UK to USA. Developed plan for integration of disparate information systems.
Vice President, Engineering (RCJ): [Raytheon Corporate Jets, Hatfield, England]: Responsible for overall design authority performance of corporate, multi-national, multi-site, engineering division. Digitization of intellectual property for global engineering support system.
Group Manager, Technical Engineering (BAC): Responsible for test & evaluation, aerodynamics, structures and acoustics across all product lines.
Manager, Engineering Test (BAC): Responsible for engineering test & evaluation including experimental flight, ground and component test.
National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP):
Director, Board of Directors: Served on several board committees, including Strategic Planning and Finance Committees.
The Marrow Foundation (TMF):
Washington, District of Columbia:
Director Emeritus, Founding Director, Board of Director: Joined Admiral ‘Bud’ Zumwalt and Doctor ‘Bob’ Graves in forming TMF, to perform the funding raising function in support of NMDP’s mission.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU):
Chancellor: Vice President of the University. Responsible for overall performance of 600+ acre, Prescott Campus, including flight operations. Established disciplined, business, planning process. Community relations, asset management, new business development and fund raising.
Piaggio Aero Industries, SpA (PAI):
Finale Ligure, Italia; Genova, Italia:
Vice Technical Director - Business Aviation: Responsible for overall engineering support for P.180 Avanti and future business aircraft development. Also served as Systems Group Manager responsible for all aircraft systems engineering other than electrical & avionics. Direct advisor to owner/managing director.
Senior Aerospace Composites:
Manager – Engineering Services: Responsible for design and production engineering, configuration control and document management, and program management for a wide range of thermoset, thermoplastic and resin transfer aerospace components; also, responsible for new program estimating, tooling design, build and maintenance, and facilities maintenance.
Raytheon Aircraft Company [later: Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC), and Textron Aviation (TxtAv)]:
Senior Project Engineer – Premier: Responsible for product-line support and field support engineering as well as field investigations. Hawker: field support.
Program Manager – Premier: Responsible for cross-functional team performance for Premier light business jet program and reliability improvement program. Designated company transportation captain pilot.
Wichita, Kansas . . . and who knows where?
Need we say more? Finally, Cap can devote his time and energy to his writing – full time. Many productive years lay ahead.
CAP WAS BORN, Charles Allen Parlier II, son of Doris & Charles Parlier, older brother of Jonathan & Melissa, on 6.July.1948, in Reedley, California, near Fresno, in the San Joaquin Valley. He received his nickname, Cap, from his mother -- a simple acronym of his initials. For those interested in Cap's paternal genealogy along with snippets of family history, click HERE. He grew up in San Mateo, California, and graduated from Hillsdale High School in 1966. He left California for the first time to attend the United States Naval Academy, Class of 1970, then chose to become a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. To complete his academic education, Cap obtained his Master of Science degree from the University of West Florida in 1973.
AFTER THE BASIC School in Quantico, Virginia, Class 2-71, he completed Ranger School, and then joined the 3d Reconnaissance Battalion, 3d Marine Division, in Okinawa, Japan. To his good fortune, he was the only officer with a set of blues, so he had the ‘hardship’ duty of an exchange tour with the British Army Royal Welch Fusiliers Regiment at Gun Club Hill Barracks in Kowloon, Hong Kong. When he returned to his reconnaissance platoon [2nd Platoon, C Company], they were attached to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, aboard USS Denver off the coast of North Vietnam during Operation LINEBACKER II in early 1972. (There may be a book in there!) Next stop, flight school at NAS Pensacola, Florida, followed by his fortuitous assignment to HMA-169 at Camp Pendleton, California. He learned to fly the AH-1G attack helicopter. In the desert Southwest, they adapted classic, fixed-wing, aerial combat techniques to the performance characteristics of attack helicopters. After a full tour, Cap was selected to attend the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School, Class 73, at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. As the attack helicopter project officer, he lead the test team to qualify the AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, the 5" Zuni rocket, and developed tactics for use of the AGM-65 TOW missile overwater. From the excitement of flight test, he joined the staff of Headquarters, III Marine Amphibious Force in Okinawa, Japan, as the Air Intelligence Officer – an enlightening assignment. In 1981, Cap resigned from active duty and joined the Marine Corps Reserve from which he eventually retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1995, after 25 years of service.
"The United States does not need a Marine Corps,
the United States wants a Marine Corps."
-- LtGen Victor Krulak, USMC (Ret)
"To be in the Corps is to be in a state of mind
that dictates one's relationship to the rest of the world."
-- Mr. Thomas E. Ricks, author of MAKING THE CORPS
CAP LEFT ACTIVE duty in 1981 to join Hughes Helicopters as an experimental test pilot. He was the project manager and test pilot on the Hughes 500MD Mast Mounted Sight attack helicopter project. After completing the appropriate testing, the team took the aircraft on an extended tour of Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece and Israel during the Summer of 1982. After the demonstration tour of H500MD MMS aircraft, Cap spent considerable time at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Grounds testing the YAH-64 prototype attack helicopter for the Army. McDonnell Douglas acquired the company after it moved from California to Mesa, Arizona, and changed the name to McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company. He participated with others in the development and testing of a full authority, fly-by-wire, digital, inertial flight path management, flight control system. Cap tested the AIM-9 Sidewinder, the Matra Mistral and Stinger air-to-air missiles. He also developed the air combat maneuvering capability of the AH-64A attack helicopter, culminating in several aerobatic airshow performances, including the 1988 Farnborough Airshow. It was at Farnborough that Cap met Anatoly Kovatchur, a Mikoyan experimental test pilot and MiG-29 demonstration pilot. At the 1989 Paris Airshow, Cap renewed his friendship with Anatoly Kovatchur and met Gourgen Karapetyan, a Mil experimental test pilot and Hero of the Soviet Union. It was at Paris that Gourgen told Cap about the extraordinary efforts of the helicopter pilots at Chernobyl. Later, at the Redhill Airshow in England, a message from Gourgen was passed to Cap, asking for his help to provide special medical treatment for one of the Chernobyl pilots and fellow test pilot, Anatoly Demjanovich Grishchenko. With the help of several key individuals, Anatoly arrived in Seattle in April 1990, for a bone marrow transplant at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center under the direction of Doctor John Hansen. Unfortunately, after a successful transplant and valiant struggle, Anatoly died 2.July.1990, of complications from an infection acquired prior to his transplant. Cap was able to visit Anatoly's grave in Zhukovsky, Russia, south of Moscow, as well as visit many of the other Chernobyl pilots stationed at Torzhuk. John Pekkanen wrote an exceptional article about Anatoly for the May 1991 issue of Reader's Digest titled: "The Man Who Flew Into Hell." The heroism of the Chernobyl pilots is the subject of Cap's historical novel, Sacrifice.
CAP JOINED BEECH Aircraft Company, Wichita, Kansas, in September 1991, as the Manager of Engineering Test, responsible for flight, ground and laboratory testing. He was promoted to Group Manager, Technical Engineering, responsible for engineering test, aerodynamics, and structures. In 1993, Cap was promoted again and assigned as Vice President, Engineering, for Raytheon Corporate Jets in Hatfield, England. Jeanne, Courtney, Tyson and Taylor joined him in England; Jacy decided to stay in Wichita to complete her senior year in high school. Cap and the family enjoyed their stay in England; nice to have London as a virtual backyard. A highlight for Cap was Jeanne's birthday present to him in 1994, a flight in Ms. Carolyn Grace's Vickers-Supermarine Spitfire Mark IX at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, that proved on rare occasions, real life can actually exceed fantasies. In September 1994, when the Raytheon Company announced its decision to move Raytheon Corporate Jets to Wichita and combine it with Beech Aircraft to form Raytheon Aircraft Company, the family returned to the U.S. Cap remained in Hatfield until July 1995. He was appointed as the Chief Information Officer of Raytheon Aircraft Company in July 1996, to form Enterprise Information Services and build a global, interactive, information services system to support the company's worldwide operations.
AS A CONSEQUENCE of Cap’s efforts to help Anatoly Grishchenko, he was invited to join the Board of Directors of the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP). He served for eight years on several board committees, including the Board’s Strategic Planning and Finance Committees. Cap joined Admiral ‘Bud’ Zumwalt and Doctor ‘Bob’ Graves to form The Marrow Foundation (TMF) to carry out the fundraising task in support of NMDP patients and operations. Federally mandated term limits brought Cap’s on the NMDP Board of Directors to an end, and he was elected Director Emeritus of TMF.
IN FEBRUARY 1998, Cap embarked on a new challenge for his leadership skills as the Chancellor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Prescott, Arizona Campus. ERAU is an exceptional institution established in 1926 that has a great deal to offer university students beyond just an education. For those with children approaching college age, take a good look at Embry-Riddle; and for those without children in this age group, tell your friends. For Cap, the rewarding experience ended in October 2000, when Cap had to reluctantly resign after serious differences with the president proved insurmountable.
IN SEPTEMBER 2001, Cap began his next adventure with Piaggio Aero Industries, SpA, in Genova, Italia. Piaggio is a venerable Italian aviation company founded in 1915 and has a rich history of innovative designs. The company had some difficulties in the 1990's but emerged with a new owner and renewed vigor in 1998. Their primary product is the P.180 Avanti, business, turboprop airplane -- the fastest, most comfortable and efficient aircraft of its size. Cap's initial assignment is Vice Technical Director - Business Aviation, with responsibilities for the P.180 and future business aircraft development; he picked up the additional assignment as the Systems Group Manager. He was based in Finale-Ligure, Savona Province, a modest coastal village west of Genova, where the engineering facility is located. Cap left Piaggio in June 2003.
CAP WAS FORTUNATE enough to find a good job in Wichita . . . at home. In July 2003, he began work as the Manager Engineering Services for Senior Aerospace Composites (SAC), a small specialty composites company. SAC produced composite components for many aerospace companies -- Boeing, Airbus, Cessna, Gulfstream, Hamilton Sunstrand, and many others. Then, as life does, the new CEO (4th in 1.5 years) decided he did not need an engineering department and Cap's time with Senior ended in March 2005.
CAP REJOINED RAYTHEON Aircraft Company in June 2005, as the Premier I Program Manager. The aircraft is a fantastic machine and a dream to fly. Cap has concentrated on coordinating the company's actions with suppliers to tweak up the reliability of the aircraft's subsystems -- a challenging and rewarding job. A definite perk with the job was obtaining his Premier, single-pilot, type rating and begun taking missions in support of his primary assignment. Cap also completed company qualification with the Baron and Bonanza as well, part of the price of the Premier type rating. Raytheon sold the aircraft company to a joint venture capital group of GS Capital Partners, an affiliate of Goldman Sachs, and Onex Partners, for US$3.3B, to form Hawker Beechcraft Corporation (HBC) via a huge amount of leverage debt (26.3.2007). The financial system collapse in the fall of 2008, and the President condemned corporation aviation, the debt burden overcame the capacity of the company to weather the Great Recession. HBC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (3.5.2012). HBC emerged from bankruptcy (19.2.2013) and closed on the sale of HBC to Textron (14.3.2014), creating a new entity – Textron Aviation, the parent for all three brands – Beechcraft, Cessna, & Hawker. The consequent changes associated with the Textron acquisition proved sufficient to convince Cap to pull the trigger within the retirement window . . . so began the next stage of life.
CAP STARTED WRITING in the Marine Corps with a couple of articles published in the Marine Corps Gazette, as well as several technical papers at the Naval Air Test Center. He continued writing technical papers until he left the cockpit for management. Cap's experience and Jeanne's encouragement inspired him to write his first novel, Cast The First Stone, for the Turner Tomorrow Awards writing contest; he did not win. He enjoyed writing so much, Cap decided to finish a story he had began in 1979 that became his first published novel, The Phoenix Seduction. Cap joined Kevin E. Ready to co-author a book about the TWA Flight 800 tragedy – TWA 800 - Accident or Incident? Cap's third published book tells the true story of the Chernobyl helicopter pilots who helped save the world – Sacrifice. Cap’s fourth book, Anod’s Redemption, was the second book on the Anod series of science fiction novels. The book’s publisher chose to re-title the first book – Anod’s Seduction – to ensure both books were available to readers. Strangely enough, Cap decided to attempt to tell the incredible story of the Battle of Britain and used some of his time in England (1993-1995) to do technical and site research for the story. The work that evolved from that effort was too long, so it was split into four books – the first books of the To So Few series of historical novels – (Book I) In the Beginning; (Book II) The Prelude; (Book III) Explosion; and (Book IV) The Trial. Book III & IV are complete and submitted to the publisher; they should be publish by the end of 2015. The current state of Cap's writing can be found HERE