Skip to main content

HomeCherokee Lead

Leading 40+ Airplanes


Flight Lead is responsible for navigation, communication, formation integrity, safety, leadership and overall flight control. Leading a group of 40 plus airplanes from point a to point b is not a simple task. It's even more stressful when your destination is the largest aviation celebration in the world. Cherokee Lead is great a responsibility and an honor. Thank you to all of our leads, past and present for getting us there safely.



Our 2024 Cherokee Lead is Dennis Frett

Born and raised in Iowa, as a kid Dennis found a grass strip airport within a bicycle ride from home. He never got a ride there, but at sixteen, working in a Honda motorcycle shop, the owner had a Bonanza V-tail and a Ryan PT-19. He got his first airplane ride flying to Cape Girardeau to pick up parts. That did it, he was hooked. Then came 3 years in the Navy, serving aboard destroyers. Escorting aircraft carriers and watching their flight OPS, Dennis became further enamored with the possibility of flight.

In 1971, Dennis married Peggy. Fortunately, she encouraged him to follow his dreams, and flight instruction began a few years later. After some interruptions, Dennis achieved his goal of receiving his PPL in 1995. About a month later, he bought the Warrior that he is still flying today. 

Now, with more than 3,000 hours, and the guidance of several of our CtO family members, Dennis has finally learned how to fly - In Formation; and will be leading, with Peggy in the right seat, the Cherokees to Oshkosh mass formation to Airventure 2024.


Past Cherokees to Oshkosh leads:

  • 2023: Chip Gentry
  • 2022: Cindy Aulbach
  • 2021: Wayne Michelli
  • 2019: Ed LeBlanc
  • 2018: Tony Harding