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Hometown Hero - childhood dreams

NIAGARA FALLS AIR RESERVE STATION, N.Y. -- For Western New York native Capt. Matthew Ables the dream of becoming a pilot took hold at age 13 when he had the chance to fly with the Iron Eagle Aerobatic Team at an air show.

"I got to fly in one aircraft and my brother got to fly in another and we went up and he did an aileron roll for the first time and I think that was about the moment when I knew for sure that this is something that I want to do," said Ables.

Capt. Ables was able to return home recently to be part of the 2015 Thunder of Niagara Air Show held at Niagara July 18-19, bringing his currently assigned aircraft as a static display for the event.

Ables started his career flying C-130's and now trains new pilots in his T-1-A Jayhawk at Laughlin AFB, Texas. He says having the opportunity to return home made this air show extra special for him.

"So now in the T-1 I get to opportunity to show people who are potentially going to pilot training themselves and it's kind of cool because I'm talking to guys who are from Buffalo and talking to kids who want to be pilots just like I wanted to be a pilot.  I can tell them I was in your shoes.  I know what it's like and it works out - you just keep a goal," said Ables.

Capt. Matthew Ables is the son of Lt. Col. Mark Ables, 914th Airlift Wing.