Ramone D. Hemphill, Sr. grew up in Charlotte, N.C. and developed an interest in aviation while in high school from attending a program that allowed kids to explore Air Traffic Control Towers. He earned his Bachelors in Computer Science from North Carolina A&T State University and began his career at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as a Systems Engineer in Avionics. After completing a free ground school course in 2007, he took some introductory flight lessons while working on integration teams that were developing new flight decks for commercial aviation customers, including Boeing, Bombardier, Airbus and Embraer.
Ramone got back into flying after joining the Honda Aircraft Company in North Carolina to help push their premier HondaJet program into production, where he became a private pilot in 2012, obtaining an Instrument Rating in 2014. He continued building hours throughout the subsequent career moves, from Part 23 Flight Testing at BendixKing/Honeywell (Albuquerque), to Flight Control Actuation Systems at Moog Aircraft Group (Buffalo) for military drones, eventually adding a Complex Endorsement when he returned to Iowa while testing display applications on military helicopters before finally getting sick of cold weather and moving to Central Florida.
Ever since obtaining his initial license, Ramone’s biggest priority in flying has been building an advocacy for General Aviation (GA), especially in the eyes of our youth. He compiles flying footage into videos each year; a series entitled "StarScream", to help spread the awareness of GA to the African American community. His wife, Shannon Hemphill, along with their 4 children, have become experienced co-pilots, with their two youngest sons taking their first private flights as early as 9 months old. Their daughter has about 19 flight hours as a student that she obtained in high school. Their 10 year old son has racked up plenty of unlogged time from sitting in the right seat and taking the controls!