Tag Archives: shaw air force base

Commander Who Fired Female Pilot Has His Own Checkered History

In February, the Air Force fired Captain Zoe Kotnik, who had been hyped (some would say over-hyped) as “the first woman to lead one of the flying force’s demonstration teams.” She’d led the team for two weeks.

While no reason was ever given for the move, US Air Force Col Derek “Maestro” O’Malley, who fired her, said in part

We have thousands of Airmen across our Air Force serving our country, and not one of them is perfect. As good people, like Capt. Kotnik make mistakes, I want them to have the opportunity to learn from them without being under public scrutiny, and to continue to be a part of this great service. They’ll be better for the experience, and in turn, we’ll be better as an Air Force.

The unusually long statement, as well as the concept of recovering from a mistake (one so egregious it led to a public removal), attracted particular attention because Col O’Malley is well-known in the Air Force’s F-16 community, and beyond, as the “Gold Bond guy.”

In 2004, then-Captain O’Malley made a spoof comedy video about Gold Bond powder that was, to put it lightly, rather crude. In fact, given today’s “Me Too” mentality, O’Malley would Read more

NTSB Releases Preliminary Findings in F-16 Midair

The NTSB released initial findings (full NTSB report here) regarding the July 7th midair between a US Air Force F-16 and a civilian Cessna 150.

The F-16 pilot was apparently on a single ship instrument sortie, practicing approaches first at Myrtle Beach, then at Charleston AFB. The Cessna took off from a local field and was not in contact with Air Traffic Control, and he was not required to be. ATC called out the (unknown) Cessna Read more

F-16 Collides with Civilian Cessna, Killing Two

Update: An Associated Press article adds additional information, indicating the F-16 was single-ship, operating under ATC control practicing instrument approaches:

At the time of the collision, Maj. Johnson was flying solo, practicing instrument approaches to a military base and was communicating with Charleston air traffic controllers, according to Col. Stephen Jost, commander of the 20th Fighter Squadron at Shaw Air Force Base.

Jost said he thought it was overcast at the time of the collision, but he was not aware of any weather-related problems.

A Shaw AFB-based F-16 collided with a civilian Cessna in South Carolina, resulting in the ejection of the F-16 pilot and the deaths of the two people on board the General Aviation aircraft.  Using their Facebook page, the base announcedRead more

Complaint Against Fighter Pilot Culture Continues

TSgt Jennifer Smith made waves in 2012 when she filed public complaints summarizing large parts of the Air Force fighter pilot culture — complete with copies of songbooks and doofer books. Her complaint was investigated by both the Inspector General and her chain of command, and multiple officers — commanders — were punished as a result of the environment they had allowed.

According to the Air Force Times, Smith is now retired at 18 years of service and has appealed the results of those investigations:  Read more

Dennis Prager on Christmas, Christians, and Mikey Weintsein

Dennis Prager is a radio talk show host and “religious Jew” who recently wrote a column entitled “Most Jews Wish You a Merry Christmas,” saying he not only has no problem with “Merry Christmas,” he does have a problem with those people who take issue with it:

The notion that non-Christians are excluded is absurd.

Americans who feel “excluded” are not excluded. They have decided to feel excluded. Which is, of course, entirely their right to do…

Saying the “left” has the

aim of secularizing America — which means, first and foremost, the removal of as many Christian references as possible.

Prager segues into commenting on someone he calls an “anti-Christian” Jew: Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, who has recently attacked Nativity scenes on military bases because, in part, some people feel “excluded” [emphasis added]:  Read more

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