Member Spotlight: Briana Borrego
feature written by Briana Borrego, member
My journey in aviation began when I was 11 years old. That’s when my dad took me to my first air show. I was instantly captivated and was committed to doing whatever it took to fly. Early on, my dream was to be a fighter pilot in the Navy. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet the vision standards for military flying, so it was time to figure out a plan b. While my love for aviation never diminished, it wasn’t until 2016 that I actually began flight training at Lewis University, just outside of Chicago. From 2016 - 2020, I was able to work as the University’s Flight Dispatcher, complete my master’s degree in Aviation and Transportation, and earn my Private, Instrument, and Commercial Pilot licenses/ratings.
While living in Chicago, I was introduced to the local warbird community through one of my flight instructors. I had an appreciation for warbirds prior to that introduction but joining the local EAA Warbird Squadron helped grow my appreciation into an immense love for these beautiful aircraft. In 2018, I was able to witness up close and learn more about the C-47 “That’s All Brother” while at the annual EAA AirVenture. It was also at that event that I learned about the upcoming flight over Normandy the following year. Watching the contingent of C-47s fly at Oshkosh that year solidified that I wanted to continue to be a part of organizations that sought to not only preserve these aircraft and their history, but also honor the legacy of the men who flew and parachuted from these aircraft throughout WWII. This is why I am so very excited to join the D-Day Society and all the other members who share this same goal.
I left the Chicago area in 2019 and now live in Las Cruces, NM. That same year, our local airport hosted the CAF’s “Old Number 30” C-47 at a fly-in event. Getting to tour that aircraft and learn of its history is a memory that I still cherish. Today, I’m the Airport Operations Manager at the Las Cruces International Airport. One day, I hope to learn to fly a variety of warbirds so that I can continue the legacy of “keep 'em flying” and so that their important history is not forgotten.