John Cane Curriculum Vitae

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Cane Associates,

Aviation Consultants, LLC
John Cane

Curriculum Vitae

588 Galera Lane, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

(843) 743-9113

Summary: FAA Airline Transport Pilot (ATP), Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Certified Flight Instructor, Instrument (CFII); Former AV-8B Harrier Squadron Commanding Officer, Executive Officer, Detachment Commander, Director of Aircraft Maintenance, Director of Flight Operations, and Pilot Training Officer; Marine Aircraft Group Executive Officer and Director of Safety & Standardization; TAV-8B/AV-8B Instructor Pilot, Instrument Check Pilot, NATOPS Check Pilot, Post Maintenance Check Pilot, Air-to-Air Combat Instructor Pilot, Low Altitude Instructor Pilot, Crew Resource Management Instructor (CRMI), Night Vision Device (NVD) Qualified Pilot, Carrier Qualified Pilot, Landing Signal Officer (LSO) Instructor; Graduate of U.S. Naval Aviator Training, Naval Aviation Maintenance Officer's Course, Naval Aviation Quality Assurance Officer's Course, Naval Safety Center Senior Officer's Safety Course, Naval Justice School Senior Officer’s Legal Course, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Aviation Safety Program Management

Professional Experience

Principal Aviation Investigator, Large Law Firm, Charleston, SC (May 2010 to Oct 2011). Conducted crash site investigations, regulatory research, drafted legal documents and assisted in the development of litigation strategies.  Served as a committee member on the FAA’s First Officer Qualifications Aviation Rule-making Committee, chartered to make recommendations to the FAA Administrator regarding flight experience and training requirements for 1st Officers participating in Part 121 air carrier operations.

Commanding Officer, Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311), Yuma, AZ (Nov 2007 to May 2009). Served as the Commanding Officer of a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Squadron during a rigorous deployment to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Under my leadership the squadron achieved unparalleled success, resulting in its selection as the “Most Outstanding Attack Squadron in Marine Aviation” for 2009, which earned the squadron the Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Attack Squadron of the Year Award. The Squadron also earned consecutive Chief of Naval Operations Aviation (CNO) Safety Awards in recognition of exemplary safety, operational excellence and contributions to the improvement of Naval Aviation safety. The squadron was comprised of 35 officers, 250 aviation maintenance and support personnel, and 16 AV-8B aircraft that had a combined value of over $400M.


Executive Officer, Marine Aircraft Group 13 (MAG-13), Yuma, AZ (Dec 2005 to Oct 2007). Supervised the flight operations and maintenance activities of 4 subordinate AV-8B Harrier squadrons, and a maintenance & logistics squadron that provided aviation maintenance services to the MAG's Harrier squadrons. The MAG consisted of 2000 aviation maintenance and support personnel, and 64 AV-8B aircraft that had a combined value of $2B. Supervised several multimillion-dollar contracts involving new hangar construction, hangar renovations, and engine test-cell upgrades.


Director of Safety and Standardization, MAG-13, Yuma, AZ (Dec 2005 to Dec 2006). Responsible for the development and implementation of policy designed to advance the safety of land/sea-based aviation maintenance and flight operations. Implemented the commander’s safety and standardization policies, and supervised the aviation and ground mishap prevention programs. Exercised staff cognizance over the Naval Aviation Training and Operating Procedures (NATOPS), aviation safety, and ground safety programs.  Conducted safety surveys, aviation safety councils, human factors councils, standardization board meetings and safety stand-downs. Rewrote the MAG’s 150+ page standard operating procedures guide for flight operations, chaired committees involved in the rewrite of the AV-8B tactical guides, and aircrew training syllabus and core competencies.


AV-8B Harrier Detachment Officer-in-Charge, VMA-311, Japan (Apr 2005 to Dec 2005). Served as the AV-8B Harrier Detachment Officer-in-Charge during a demanding 8-month deployment to Japan.  The Detachment consisted of 90 Marines and 6 AV-8B Harrier aircraft, and involved extended embarkation aboard two U.S. Navy LHDs carriers. While embarked, served as the Marine Aviation Combat Element (ACE) Aviation Maintenance Officer, responsible for the maintenance and readiness of 12 CH-46E, 4 CH-53E, 4 AH-1W, 2 UH-1N helicopters, and 6 AV-8B aircraft. As the Detachment Officer-in-Charge, established all policies governing the detachment’s flight operations, aircraft maintenance, aircrew training, aviation safety, logistics, administration, HAZMAT and armament handling. Performed operational risk management and served as the approval authority for all flight operations. Developed aircrew training plans and ensured standardization of instructor cadre. Ensured aircrew conducted flight operations in accordance with governing manuals, regulations, orders, directives and SOPs.

Executive Officer, VMA-311 & VMA-513, Yuma, AZ (May 2004 to Apr 2005). Supervised all facets of the squadron’s flight and ground operations. Acted as the commander’s representative for all safety matters, and ensured that the commander’s safety policy was understood and incorporated at all levels of the command. Performed scheduled and unscheduled safety inspections, and operational risk management. Chaired monthly Aviation Safety Councils and Standardization Board meetings.

Director of Operations, VMA-311, Yuma, AZ (Dec 2002 to May 2004). Planned and supervised all aspects of the squadron’s operations, to include flight operations while embarked aboard ship during a 7-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Established aircrew training objectives and priorities, and ensured pilots met and exceeded core training requirements as defined in the AV-8B Harrier Training & Readiness Manual.

Program Manager, USMC Warfighting Laboratory, Quantico, VA (Dec 2000 to Dec 2002).  Served as the Program Manager for the RQ-14 “Dragon Eye” – the Marine Corps' first operational back-packable unmanned air vehicle (UAV). Led a team of Naval Research Laboratory engineers in the UAV’s development. Established the program’s priorities and timelines, and conducted developmental flight test. A Rapid Acquisition Program, Dragon Eye UAV transitioned from concept to fielding in an unprecedented 2-year period, and achieved significant success in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Secretary of the Navy nominated the program in 2001 for the Department of Defense’s David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for “exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices.” A Dragon Eye UAV is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Director of Aircraft Maintenance, VMA-542, Cherry Point, NC (Sept 1999 to Dec 2000). Supervised 15 maintenance work centers and 150 maintenance Marines involved in the maintenance of 16 AV-8B Harrier aircraft. Established all production goals, work plans and priorities. Supervised all aircraft repairs, modifications, maintenance and inspections, and ensured that all occurred in accordance with regulations and directives. Developed the maintenance department’s technical training plan, ensured department retained requisite qualifications, instructors, and quality assurance personnel to accomplish the mission safely. Conducted scheduled and unscheduled inspections, and administered the commander’s safety programs.  Performed post-maintenance functional check flights.

Pilot Training Officer, VMAT-203, Cherry Point, (Sept 1998 to Sept 1999). Ensured student pilot training adhered to core training requirements. Developed remedial training plans for substandard students, evaluated other instructors for standardization, conducted flight training for new instructors. Rewrote and updated the squadron’s Flight Syllabus Guide, served as the squadron’s Air Combat Tactics Standardization Instructor.  Gained extensive familiarity with aircrew simulators and training systems, and served as the AV-8B subject matter expert for Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division’s Critical Design Review during an AV-8B simulator upgrade. 

Aviation Maintenance Quality Assurance Officer, VMAT-203, Cherry Point, NC (May 1997 to Sept 1998). Monitored aircraft maintenance, repair and inspection procedures and standards.  Ensured directives and procedures were current and closely followed. Performed scheduled and unscheduled inspections. Identified discrepancies, root causes, led continuous process improvement efforts, and took appropriate corrective action when necessary. Provided maintenance technical training to maintenance personnel.

T/AV-8B Instructor Pilot, VMAT-203, Cherry Point, NC (May 1997 to Sept 1999). Taught aircraft systems ground school and conducted flight instruction. Qualified as a “safe-for-solo” check pilot, instrument check pilot, NATOPS check pilot, tactical flight instructor and standardization check pilot.

Aviation Maintenance Power-Plants Officer, VMA-211, Yuma, AZ (Jun 1995 to May 1997). Responsible for the maintenance, repair and removal of the squadron's AV-8B Harrier Rolls-Royce 408/406 gas turbine engines.

Investigative Experience

  • 2012, midair collision over the Hudson River, New York involving a Piper PA-23 Aztec and a Eurocopter AS350 (operating under Part 91 & 136).

  • 2012, crash of a Boeing 747-200 after it lost two engines shortly after takeoff from Bogota, Colombia (operating under Part 121).

  • 2011, controlled flight into terrain of a Rockwell International 690B Turbo Commander during a descent into San Juan, Puerto Rico (operating under Part 135).

  • 2011, crash of Beech 58 during final approach into Greensboro, North Carolina (operating under Part 135).

  • 2011, crash of a Cessna 550 Citation II after the aircrew reported flight control problems after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin (operating under Part 135).

  • 2010, crash of a Piper PA-23-250 shortly after takeoff from Summerville, South Carolina (operating under Part 91).

  • 2009, Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier jet was damaged during a high-power run-up after a portion of the high-power ramp liberated and struck the underside of the aircraft’s fuselage.

  • 2008, a guidance unit on a laser-guided weapon was damaged after it was inadvertently dropped while being loaded onto an aircraft.

  • 2008, AV-8B Harrier engine nozzle drive coupling retaining pin disconnected on landing roll-out due to improper “peening” of the pin and inadequate published quality assurance procedures.

  • 2008, while operating from an airport in the Middle East, engines on six AV-8B Harriers ingested FOD and required engine replacement.

  • 2008, while an AV-8B Harrier was conducting a “gun run” on a target, rounds fired from the gun fragmented in front of the aircraft and struck the cockpit windscreen causing it to shatter.

  • 2007, while an AV-8B Harrier was conducting a “gun run” on a target, rounds fired from the gun fragmented in front of the aircraft and struck the leading edge of the aircraft’s left wing.

  • 2007, crash of an AV-8B Harrier in Yuma, Arizona after a fan blade liberated from the engine and exited the engine case.

  • 2006, crash of an AV-8B Harrier in Yuma, Arizona after a fan blade liberated from the engine and exited the engine case.

  • 2006, crash of an AV-8B Harrier at sea after the engine experienced un-commanded RPM rollback.

  • 2006, crash of an AV-8B Harrier on final approach into Yuma, Arizona after the pilot reported a flight control malfunction. 

  • 2005, crash of an AV-8B Harrier on landing roll-out after the Night Vision Device (NVD) equipped pilot attempted a high crosswind landing.

  • 2005, AV-8B Harrier’s wing tip and wing mounted missile launcher were damaged after the NVD equipped pilot experienced a hard landing aboard a carrier (LHD) at night.

  • 2005, AV-8B Harrier was seriously damaged while conducting a bombing run on a target at night after the NVD equipped pilot initiated a late dive recovery, flew too low, and struck vegetation.

  • 2000, AV-8B Harrier was damaged after the engine’s #3 main bearing failed during an engine high-power test run.

  • 1999, AV-8B Harrier experienced in-flight vibrations due to a pending engine #3 main bearing failure.

  • 1994, AV-8B Harrier departed the runway surface after the aircraft’s nose tire wheel bearing failed during landing rollout.

Aviation Related Licenses & Qualifications

  • Airline Transportation Pilot (MEL)

  • Commercial Pilot (SEL)

  • Certified Flight Instructor Instrument (Powered-Lift)

  • Naval Aviator

  • Post Maintenance Check Pilot

  • T/AV-8B Harrier Instructor Pilot

  • Air Combat Tactics Instructor

  • Low Altitude Tactics Instructor

  • Weapons Tactics Officer

  • Crew Resource Management (CRM) Instructor

Aviation Related Education

  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Aviation Safety Program Management

  • Naval Aviator Training (2 years of training)

  • Naval Aviation Maintenance Officer’s Course (6 weeks of training)

  • Naval Safety Center's Senior Officer’s Aviation Safety Course (1 week of training)

  • Naval Aviation Quality Assurance Course (1 week of training)

  • Naval Justice School Senior Officer’s Legal Course (1 week of training)

Academic Education

  • Juris Doctorate, Charleston School of Law, Charleston, SC (Aug 2009 - May 2012). Selected finalist “Top 4” of 241 competitors in the 2010 Charleston School of Law 1L Moot Court competition.  Vice-President of the Aviation Law Society, elected member of the Honor Council, selected member of the James L. Petigru American Inn of Court.

  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, The Citadel, Charleston, SC (Sept 1987 - Dec 1989)

  • University of Maryland, School of Engineering, College Park, MD (Sept 1980 - Dec 1982)

Selected Awards

  • Bronze Star Medal - for service as the Commanding Officer of a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier squadron.

  • Meritorious Service Medal - for service as the Executive Officer of MAG-13, the Director of Safety and Standardization of MAG-13, and the Officer-in-Charge of an AV-8B Harrier Detachment.

  • Air Medal - for heroic achievement in aerial flight while serving as an AV-8B Harrier pilot in OIF.

Aircraft Flown

  • AV-8B

  • T/AV-8B

  • F/A-18B

  • T-38

  • T/A-4J

  • T-2C

  • T-34C

  • AH-1W

  • Piper PA-28 Warrior

  • Piper PA-34 Seneca

  • Cessna 172/150


  • Top Secret (Sensitive Compartmentalized Information) Security Clearance, eligibility valid until February 2014

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