Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1949 and raised in Anaheim, Chic Burlingame graduated from
Anaheim High School in 1967.
After graduating from the Naval Academy, he served eight years in the Navy, flying F-4
Phantom fighters. He was an aeronautical engineer and honors graduate from the Navy's Top
Gun fighter pilot school and he also taught at the school. He was a reservist for 17 years and
served in the Persian Gulf War.
After he left the Navy, he started flying for airlines. He was hired by American Airlines in 1989.
For a time, he flew regular routes to South America. But he gave them up in order to spend more
time at home. A month later, one of the pilots who replaced him crashed into the Colombian
He remained active in the reserve, working until 1996 as a liaison in the Pentagon.
On September 11, 2001, the day before his 52nd birthday, he was the pilot of American Airlines
Flight 77 when it was hijacked and flown into the Pentagon. The crash killed 125 people at the
Pentagon and all 59 passengers and crew members on the flight. Ironically, when his plane went
down, it ripped through a section of the building that included the Navy Reserve offices that he
worked in while in the reserves.