The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor recently rolled out a freshly repainted F-16A with the name of retired Air Force Gen Gary “Nordo” North on the cockpit. Gen North — then a LtCol and squadron commander of the 33FS — was flying an F-16 when he shot down a MiG-25 violating the Southern No Fly Zone over Iraq in 1992.
The kill marked the first-ever air-to-air kill by an F-16, and also the first-ever air-to-air kill with an AIM-120 AMRAAM — much to the chagrin of the F-15 Eagles whose sole role was air combat, and who carried the AMRAAM as their exclusive active radar guided missile.
There’s one issue, however. We can forgive Read more
From the Stars and Stripes:
Capt. Jonathan Mahan is the stereotypical fighter pilot: calm, confident, with a steely gaze and a sharp sense of humor. He has a cool nickname and a mustache so perfectly groomed that it would make “Top Gun” character Goose proud.
River has no doubt heard no end to the…praise…of his fellow fighter pilots for his portrayal in the article on the F-15.
Goose was Read more
Update: The Massachusetts National Guard identified the fallen pilot as Lt. Col. Morris “Moose” Fontenot, Jr., a former Kadena squadron commander and 1996 graduate of the US Air Force Academy.
An F-15C Eagle from the Massachusetts Air National Guard 104th Fighter Wing crashed near Deerfield, Virginia, Wednesday morning. Read more
LtCol Eric Samuelson recently made the local Portland, Maine, news when he flew low level over his community on his retirement flight:
Flanked by two other F-15 fighter jets, Samuelson led the formation from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, to northern Maine for low-altitude training. After buzzing Portland, they headed for the jetport, where more than 100 members of his church were waiting in a parking lot by the runway…
Samuelson has been a pastor at The Rock Church for some time, and the article noted he found no conflict between his roles as Christian faith leader and military Read more
The US Air Force released the investigative report on the May 2013 crash of an F-15C Eagle off the coast of Japan:
The jet stopped responding to flight control inputs…The pilot was not able to recover from a left descending spiral — after trying for 20 seconds — and ejected at 4,500 feet above sea level.
While the board did cite mechanical failure, there were also Read more
Some time ago the Air Force began giving pilot training graduates an assignment to the F-22 directly out of UPT. Previously, pilots had to be trained in another fighter — F-15, F-16 — first, then take the F-22 as a future assignment. The F-22 was always intended to be a traditional “pipeline” fighter, however, so it was only a matter of time before the first F-22 Lt took to the air.
After three years of rigorous U.S. Air Force pilot training, 25-year-old 1st Lt. Andrew Van Timmeren, 7th Fighter Squadron pilot, finally Read more
Reports indicate a US Air Force F-15 Eagle based in Kadena crashed off Japan. The pilot ejected and has been safely recovered.
As with all such incidents, the Air Force will investigate over the next few months.
The Associated Press penned a piece saying the US Air Force has been saddled by an aging fleet of aircraft thanks to “past inattention” and a “lack of urgency.”
For decades, the U.S. Air Force has grown accustomed to such superlatives as unrivaled and unbeatable. These days, some of its key combat aircraft are being described with terms like geriatric, or decrepit.
The article then details some of the aircraft the Air Force is flying, including the KC-135, B-52, and U-2 (1950s), and F-15, F-16, and A-10 (1970s). Modern era Read more