Dan Hanley grew up in the small town of Belleville in southern Illinois and was fortunate enough to fulfill his childhood dream of flying commercial jet aircraft as his chosen career. After receiving his commercial license and instrument rating in 1969, he completed a six-year stint as a Naval Aviator flying the P-3 Orion aircraft. United Airlines subsequently hired him as a pilot in 1978 and at the time of discharge was Captain on the 777 Airliner. Following the events of September 11 2001 and with United Airlines in bankruptcy, he attempted to speak out on alleged violations of federal aviation regulations and security frailties. As a result of his efforts, he was rewarded by expulsion from the property thereby destroying a 35-year aviation career.