Thom Patterson is an American journalist based in Atlanta, Georgia . He is a CNN senior producer for in-depth digital projects, writes and reports about aviation . Since 1999, he's reported, written and produced hundreds of original stories for CNN Digital.    
He has conducted one-on-one interviews for CNN with John McCain , Chuck Hagel , Andrew Cuomo , and at the White House with Rahm Emanuel. Patterson has also had the privilege of interviewing Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager , and Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger . 
An aviation enthusiast and student pilot, Patterson has flown through a hurricane aboard an Air Force Reserve C-130 Hurricane Hunter. He also has flown aboard WW-II era bombers including the B-25 Mitchell , B-17 Flying Fortress , and a B-29 Superfortress . 
He has enjoyed a few rolls and loops as an AT-6 backseater with the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team. He briefly piloted the GZ-20A Goodyear Blimp, "Spirit of Innovation." He covered the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to return to service after worldwide grounding. He has reported for CNN from the 2016 Farnborough International Airshow , the EAA AirVenture celebration in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and the FAA's TRACON and control tower facilities in the Atlanta, Georgia, area. In 2005, he covered the Kennedy Space Center during NASA 's first shuttle launch after the Columbia disaster . 
Patterson covered Coast Guard /NTSB hearings investigating the deadly sinking of the world's most famous square-rigger tall ship, the Bounty. He also has reported from the 2004 Republican National Convention, and from Austin, where he covered the 2008 Texas Democratic presidential primary. 
For six years Patterson was based at CNN's Washington Bureau, where he produced hundreds of hours of live TV newscasts and TV news packages and conducted interviews at Capitol Hill and the White House.