On April 21st 2016, the Johnston Sunrise ran a story in which Civil Air Patrol Cadet, Second Lieutenant Mallory L. McConnell of Warwick received the General Billy Mitchell Award from Col Richard F. Hill, Rhode Island Wing Commander. The ceremony was held at RI Wing Headquarters, located at the Rhode Island Air National Guard Base at 1 Hercules Drive, North Kingstown.
We congratulate the cadet, but make note of the critical comments from professional pilots that were provided on Col Hill’s performance as Rhode Island Wing Commander.
One comment reads in part as follows:
“In particular, Mr Hill has had numerous National complaints lodged against him from several members and former members of the organization to include not only safety violations, but also violations of behavior unbecoming of an Air Force Auxiliary Officer. His reprehensible “Stalin” type behavior caused irreparable damage to the RI Wing and was cause for many volunteers to terminate their memberships due to safety concerns.
Members who had genuine concerns for safety of flight and cadet safety were threatened with dismissal if they moved forward with complaints to National Headquarters. I was one of those officers. The final issue which caused me to remove my self from the organization was when Mr Hill approved the appointment of a pilot who had medical issues that would impair his ability to fly safely, who was unfit to pass his Form 5 and Form 91 check flights due to these medical impairments, but Mr Hill approved his appointment to fly even though these issues were brought to his attention.
As of this date this once accredited organization has now become an unsafe organization that promises our local children the dream to fly.”
• Rhode Island Wing Flight Safety Scandal