Air Force Wants Veteran Pilots — But Not For Combat Duty

Air Combat Command is looking for a few good pilots with vintage fighters to fly in its Heritage Flight. According to a July 30 release, “The program is open to highly experienced pilots in the air show environment with [US Army Air Forces]/USAF fighter-type warbirds from [World War II], Korea, or Vietnam conflict eras.” ACC has posted an application on its Aerial Events Web page and wants them in by Sept. 30.
The USAF Heritage Flight program was established in 1997 to commemorate the Air Force’s 50th anniversary. It involves today’s state-of-the-art fighters flying in close formation with World War II, Korean and Vietnam era fighters such as the P-51 Mustang and the F-86 Sabre. The flight’s mission is to safely and proudly display the evolution of U.S. Air Force airpower and to support the Air Force’s recruiting and retention efforts.

There are 21 pilots in this program. The modern Air Force fighters are piloted by the seven Air Combat Command (ACC) single-ship demonstration team pilots and the vintage warbirds are piloted by 12 civilians, including former Air Force, Army, Navy, and Marine pilots, and several former astronauts. In addition, two active duty F-4 pilots and an F-22A pilot joined the program in 2005.


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