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Flight engineer creates works of art

Tech Sgt. Timothy McCarthy, 22nd Airlift Squadron, adds details to a drawing he plans to give to an individual leaving, during some down time on a recent mission to Japan March 3, 2017. McCarthy is a self taught artist who has done drawings and painting throughtout the squadron as well as for going away presents when he's not doing flight engineer duties. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Tech Sgt. Timothy McCarthy, 22nd Airlift Squadron, adds details to a drawing he plans to give to an individual leaving, during some down time on a recent mission to Japan March 3, 2017. McCarthy is a self taught artist who has done drawings and painting throughtout the squadron as well as for going away presents when he's not doing flight engineer duties. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

“It’s a very challenging job,” said Tech Sgt. Timothy McCarthy, 22nd Airlift Squadron C-5M Super Galaxy flight engineer. “From standard operating procedures to dealing with in-flight emergencies, it is never a dull moment. That’s why I like being a flight engineer.”

As a flight engineer, McCarthy conducts pre-flight inspections of the C-5M, as well as operates and monitors the engine and aircraft system controls in-flight.

“I take pride in operating the largest U.S. Air Force aircraft, enabling the delivery of much needed equipment and people worldwide,” said McCarthy.

When McCarthy isn’t in charge of ensuring the C-5M is flying smoothly, he creates works of art.

“He does it selflessly on his own time, on top of his primary duty as a trusted C-5M Flight engineer,” said Lt. Col. Cory Damon, 22nd AS commander. “Tim McCarthy's artwork provides tremendous inspiration to our squadron.”

McCarthy has done everything from going away presents to patches and even updated paintings in the squadron’s heritage room.

“I like doing it,” said McCarthy. “I like the reactions I get from people.”

The Eugene, Oregon, native began drawing as a kid but stopped for about 10 years before picking up a pencil and began doodle.

“The commander saw me drawing and asked me to draw a new patch,” said McCarthy. “After that, I just started drawing again.”

The self-taught artist wasn’t always a flight engineer, however. McCarthy spent the first six years of his career as a weapons loader. He decided to cross train into the flight engineer career field after the operations tempo increased.

“I cross trained to the engineer career field to gain a more active role in the Air Force and get closer to what's going on in the Middle East,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy created an anniversary patch for the 22nd AS and is currently working on a lithograph.

“Everything that our squadron is today has been because those that came before us,” said McCarthy. “It has been an honor to create something that both shares our heritage and celebrates the past 75 years of the 22nd Airlift Squadron.”

This April marks the 75th anniversary of the 22nd AS.

“Tim conveys a deep respect for our Air Force heritage and traditions,” said Damon. “His amazing artwork transforms our history and values into a celebration of our Airmen of yesterday, today and tomorrow. We are very proud to have him as a member of the 22d Airlift Squadron family.”