A US Air Force F-16 pilot who was a member of the Thunderbird demonstration team has died as a result of a crash “during [a] routine training” flight:
“A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot was killed when his F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed over the Nevada Test and Training Range today at approximately 10:30 a.m. during a routine aerial demonstration training flight,” the Wednesday statement said.
The pilot was Read more
The two-seat F-16 on the USAF Thunderbird Aerial Demonstration Team is used for “incentive” flights and flying local celebrities, among other public relations tasks.
That’s one memorable way to end your flight:
June 23, 2017, in Dayton, Ohio. TY GREENLEES / DAYTON DAILY NEWS /AP
Both the pilot and “passenger” (Capt. Erik Read more
A US Air Force Thunderbird crashed while returning to Peterson AFB in Colorado, following their performance over the graduation ceremony of the US Air Force Academy Class of 2016 — at which President Obama had just spoken.
Photos taken by local news crews indicate the F-16 appears to have slid inauspiciously along the ground — not unlike some other legends of aircraft that “crashed” but eventually flew again because they “crashed” so softly.
The F-16 pilot, Major Alex Turner, ejected and appeared to be uninjured. He was apparently not confined to a hospital, as with most other pilots who eject. Rather, he met President Obama at Peterson.
At nearly the same time in Tennessee, a Navy Read more
The traditional Thunderbird flyby of the US Air Force Academy graduation was canceled, reportedly due to budget concerns. A group of private aerial demonstration teams has volunteered to fill in the awkward silence that would otherwise mark the hat-toss.
Academy officials said Thursday that more than a dozen pilots have volunteered to fly historical U.S. military aircraft over graduation week events, including the commencement ceremony May 29.
Leading with Honor, Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton, is a unique and outstanding book by former prisoner of war Lee Ellis, an F-4 pilot who spent nearly six years in POW camps in Vietnam. Its stated intent is to pass on “leadership” lessons from the “crucible of captivity.” In truth, it is much more than that: It teaches lessons that are applicable to all of life.
Ellis, who was a 1st Lt at the time, was on his 53rd mission over North Vietnam Read more
As previously noted, a lower-than-planned incident at a Blue Angel’s event caused the team to end that show early and cancel multiple other shows — including those associated with the US Naval Academy graduation.
The commander of the Blue Angels, who was the lead aircraft in the “incident,” requested he be relieved.
Cmdr. Dave Koss requested that Rear Adm. Bill Sizemore relieve him of his command following a lower-than-normal maneuver during the team’s last performance at the Lynchburg Regional Air Show May 22.
Koss indicated there may have been other “instances” of note: Read more
The US Air Force and Navy appear to have been in an unspoken competition over their use of “green” or synthetic alternative fuels in their fighters — each vying for “firsts.”
It appears the Air Force Thunderbirds beat the Navy Blue Angels to be the first to use it in their demonstration team:
The Thunderbirds will use alternative fuel, unprecedented for any Department of Defense aerial team, at the [airshow] here May 20 and 21, officials said.
The team will fly with Camelina-based hydrotreated renewable jet fuel as part of the nation’s overall strategy to reduce reliance on foreign energy and establish greater energy security through conservation and use of “home grown” alternative energy sources, said Terry Yonkers, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.
On a related noted, the Blue Angels apparently had an ‘incident’ Read more
A recent US Air Force news article on the USAF Academy graduation contained a photo encapsulating a veritable cornucopia of USAFA and military traditions. Here’s the photo:
Traditions displayed in the photo: Read more