Corpus Christi Army Depot Welcomes its First Female Test Pilot

by Jaclyn Nix, CCAD Public Affairs

Army Returns the First Wartime Replacement Aircraft

CW2 Trina Moreno, CCAD Maintenance Test Pilot, conducts flight control checks on a UH-60 Black Hawk. CW2 Moreno is the first female maintenance test pilot at the depot. Photo By Ervey Martinez (RELEASED).

Corpus Christi, TX (October 3, 2012) – For the first time in its 51 year history, Corpus Christi Army Depot (CCAD) welcomed a female maintenance test pilot.

CW2 Trina Moreno, a test pilot for the UH-60 Black Hawk, came to the depot in 2011 to help with crash battle damaged and recapitalized (recap) Black Hawks. She could be found in the hangar or on the flight line dressed in her ACUs performing inspections, test flights and the occasional aircraft delivery.

“I love that I get to fly every day and work on aircraft that I know will make a difference,” she said.

She hopes to influence others in Army aviation by bringing her knowledge and experience to the field for the Warfighters.

“When an aircraft happens to break, I can go out, troubleshoot it and get it flying again,” she said. “I [can] take the experience I learned at CCAD and show the unit how to troubleshoot the aircraft to repair.”

A 17-year Army aviation specialist, CW2 Moreno came to CCAD from Fort Campbell, Kentucky after serving a tour of duty in Afghanistan and after a devastating accident that left her husband as a quadriplegic. The U.S. Army and CCAD worked to secure a job for CW2 Moreno that would bring her and her family closer to their extended family in South Texas.

CW2 Moreno inspects every inch and rivet of the Black Hawk with safety flight crews before the aircraft is ever lifted off the ground. She ensures that the hundreds of new or remanufactured components and engines in each aircraft work properly with ground runs. After each hover and flight test, CW2 Moreno and the crew continually service the helicopter to ensure a perfect bird until it returns to the Warfighters needing it the most.

“When I was a little girl my parents used to take me to air shows. I remember seeing the aviators, people in uniform and the helicopters and I knew then that [flying] is want I wanted to do,” said CW2 Moreno.

“I started out as a mechanic and now I’m a pilot which is awesome. We are starting to see a lot more females doing that which is great.”

One of CW2 Moreno’s greatest achievements while working at the depot was assisting the CCAD team complete and deliver 50 recapitalized UH-60s to the Warfighter, breaking the production record of CCAD Black Hawks in a given fiscal year. CCAD produces state-of-the-art UH-60 Black Hawks for the Warfighter at the lowest possible cost to ensure the Army remains battle-ready and capable to maximize Army combat power. The recap program involves the teardown of older model UH-60s to rebuild it with the best and latest technology and systems. Upon completion, the aircraft comes out equal to or better than a new UH-60L Black Hawk with a life extension of up to ten years.

“Working at CCAD is a great experience,” said CW2 Moreno. “[Soldiers] are getting a great product.”

“I think it is important for women to strive in the military because women before us have strived to get us to where we are today. I’m thankful that I can pave the way for future female test pilots.”

CCAD welcomed its second female maintenance test pilot in September. CW4 Tammy Stewart will assist CCAD as they replenish the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior for the Army.

Gen. Dennis L. Via, Commander of Army Materiel Command poses with CCAD’s first female maintenance test pilot, CW2 Trina Moreno, in front of a UH-60 Black Hawk on the CCAD flight line. Photo by Ervey Martinez (RELEASED).

CCAD’s first female maintenance test pilot, CW2 Trina Moreno, checks the tail rotor blades on a UH-60 Black Hawk during pre-flight inspections. Photo by Kiana Allen (RELEASED).

CW2 Trina Moreno, CCAD’s first female maintenance test pilot, stands in front of a UH-60 Black Hawk before take-off. Photo by Kiana Allen (RELEASED).


Designated a Center of Industrial and Technical Excellence for rotary wing aircraft, Corpus Christi Army Depot ensures aviation readiness through overhaul, repair, modification, retrofit, testing, recapitalization, and modernization of helicopters, engines and components. This effort includes world-wide on-site field maintenance teams, analytical crash investigations and chemical material process facilities. CCAD serves as a depot training base for active duty Army, National Guard, and reserve units. CCAD, as South Texas' largest industrial employer, employs more than 5500 personnel and contractors providing an overall economic impact of more than $1.14 Billon to the local community.