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80th FTW invites local pilots for Civilian Fly-In
2nd Lt. Eric Goral, 469th Flying Training Squadron, shows Jeff McNight, a local civilian pilot, a flight simulator used to train pilots in the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program during the Civilian Fly-in event June 9, 2012. The main purpose of the event was based on a common denominator both civilian and military pilots share—flight safety and avoidance of mid-air collisions. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Adawn Kelsey)
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80th FTW invites local pilots for Civilian Fly-In

Posted 6/13/2012   Updated 6/13/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Senior Airman Adawn Kelsey
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs


6/13/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Civilian Pilots in the local area joined the 80th Flying Training Wing at Sheppard for a Civilian Fly-in event June 9. The main purpose of the event was based on a common denominator both civilian and military pilots share--flight safety and avoidance of mid-air collisions.

During the event more than 18 aircraft were able to land and takeoff on the 13,000 foot runway, and more than 60 pilots enjoyed a burger burn, simulator rides and static displays of the T-6 and T-38.

"With special approval from Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, the base was allowed to open up the airfield to civilian pilots with the intent of educating them on local wing flying operations," said Lt. Col. Andrea Themely, 80th FTW chief of safety.

Among the activities and static displays, the pilots were also given an educational briefing before they departed for a tour of the tower and Radar Approach Control facility.

"The attendees were given a briefing to further educate them on our military training routes, military operations areas, local traffic patterns and our departure and recovery corridors," the colonel said. "By giving them more information about our operations, our hope is that we can avoid mid-air collisions."

Although local aviators were briefed, bussed and toured around the facilities, they weren't the only ones learning from the experience.

"By interfacing with the civilian flying population, our pilots can better understand what a general aviation pilot is thinking or doing when flying in our local area," she said. "For example, one of the pattern entry points for the T-38 pattern is 4,000 feet over Wichita Valley airport. Some of the Wichita Valley pilots attended and with interaction between the pilots, we can hope to avoid any mid-air conflicts in the future."



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