Wade Burleson pastors Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma, which is the home of Vance Air Force Base — where Christina “Thumper” Hopper serves as a Reserve Air Force instructor pilot. After Michael “Mikey” Weinstein blasted Christina online for her public profession of faith in God, Burleson took to his own blog to defend his congregant [formatting original]:
It seems Mr. Mikey was offended when he read an article last week from the Vance Air Force Base Public Affairs magazine that highlighted Christina and her recent accomplishments as a triathlete…Here are the reporter’s words about Christina, comparing her triathlete training to life:
“The triathlon courses are designed by others, but Christina’s life’s trail is directed by faith. Faith in God, faith in those she is close to and faith in the belief that life’s spoils, whether they be triathlon finishes, flying or family, are blessings.”
Faith in God.
These are three words that caused Mr. Weinstein offense. It seems Read more
A US Air Force T-6A Texan II experienced an engine failure in April, and solo instructor pilot Capt Eric Clements safely recovered it to Vance AFB in Enid, Oklahoma. The incident was reportedly in the local press (and then picked up at the Stars and Stripes and Military.com), and Clements was quoted being somewhat effusive in praise about his own performance:
“It was beautiful,” he said with a smile. “It was really one of my better ELPs (emergency landing patterns) I had ever done.”
Since he teaches students to handle emergencies such as the one he faced, Clements was asked what grade he would give himself for his work that day.
“I would have graded myself an excellent,” he said. “I want to be humble Read more
Vance Air Force Base has posted an ongoing pilot training journal written by 2Lt S. Tucker Browne. Lt Browne started his training in August of last year, first flying T-6A Texan IIs and then T-38C Talons. His graduation from the year-long course should be soon.
His journal should have some interesting tidbits, including a look into some ongoing pilot traditions, like the solo dunk tank (recounted by another pilot here, and copied here):
On Monday, our class had the privilege of sending one of our own up into the pattern alone. The pilot, 2nd Lt. Latessa Bortner, said it was a really fun experience…
When she landed, we were ready for the age-old tradition of Read more
The Air Force reported that a pilot ejected from his T-6A Texan II near Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Based on the report, it seems the aircraft went off the end of the runway (into the mud) and the pilot ejected:
The aircraft is intact, sitting off of the end of the base’s runway 17L, with gear extended in the mud.
The report does not indicate if he was a student or instructor; only that he was solo. (The term “he” is generic, as the Air Force report carefully avoided the use of gender-specific pronouns.)
Also noted at the Air Force Times.