Feb 07 2009

U-2s boast new, improved cockpit

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From af.mil

Lt. Col. Lars Hoffman reviews his checklist before flying the new U-2S Dragon Lady, Block 20, aircraft on its first flight from Osan Air Base, South Korea, on Tuesday, June 20. Colonel Hoffman is the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrea Knudson)

Lt. Col. Lars Hoffman reviews his checklist before flying the new U-2S Dragon Lady, Block 20, aircraft on its first flight from Osan Air Base, South Korea, on Tuesday, June 20. Colonel Hoffman is the 5th Reconnaissance Squadron commander. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Andrea Knudson)

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Feb 06 2009

Initial F-35s going to Eglin

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From af.mil

Air Force officials have decided to bed down 59 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and to allow associated construction to begin at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In this photo over Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 Lightning II test aircraft AA-1 undergoes a flight check. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

Air Force officials have decided to bed down 59 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and to allow associated construction to begin at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. In this photo over Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 Lightning II test aircraft AA-1 undergoes a flight check. (Photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin)

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Feb 04 2009

Airman pulls passengers from Continental Airlines wreckage

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From af.mil

Lt. Col. Rich Lowe, an instructor pilot with the 39th Flying Training Squadron, exits a T-6A Texan II after a flight Jan. 28. Colonel Lowe pulled several people from the wreckage of Continental Airlines Flight 1404 that crashed on take-off at Denver International Airport on Dec. 20, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rich McFadden)

Lt. Col. Rich Lowe, an instructor pilot with the 39th Flying Training Squadron, exits a T-6A Texan II after a flight Jan. 28. Colonel Lowe pulled several people from the wreckage of Continental Airlines Flight 1404 that crashed on take-off at Denver International Airport on Dec. 20, 2008. (U.S. Air Force photo/Rich McFadden)

Well done Sir! Read the story here.

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Feb 04 2009

Airmen recover damaged C-17 at Bagram

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From af.mil
U.S. Air Force photo
The C-17 that landed at Bagram airfield with it’s landed get retracted has been removed from the runway by DOD civilians and contractors. There were no significant injuries on board after the landing but the incident did cause a problem for operations at Bagram.

A lengthy runway closure is our worst nightmare at Bagram…The Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers on the 455th AEW team work extremely hard every day to make sure coalition forces all over Afghanistan can count us to be there with close-air support, airdrop and airlift, personnel recovery, and electronic attack, when and where they need it. We knew we would have to find a way to keep doing our job while our runway was closed. – Brig. Gen. James M. “Mike” Holmes, the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing commander.

This is the first incident of this type in the 16-year history of the C-17 and it sounds like the recovery crews did an exemplary job of getting this aircraft removed quickly and operations restored. The one thing I have not heard is that there was any type of emergency declared prior to landing so I’m assuming that either the gear collapsed or they were never put down initially? A safety board has been convened to investigate. You can read more here.

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Feb 03 2009

C-17 damaged in gear-up landing at Bagram

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From Air Force Times
By Bruce Rolfsen – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 3, 2009 7:20:40 EST

A C-17 Globemaster made a “gear up” landing at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan late Friday.

The crew got off the plane safely, but there was a small fire and extensive damage to plane’s underside, according to Air Force reports.

The plane, assigned to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., was landing at Bagram around 10 p.m. when the accident occurred, reports said. The emergency resulted in the temporary closure of runway at the largest military airport in Afghanistan. Air operations resumed Saturday.

Accident and safety investigation boards are looking into what caused the accident.

Friday’s accident was the second bad C-17 landing in Afghanistan during the past two months.

There were no injuries Dec. 23 when a C-17 from Charleston rolled off the runway at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan while trying to land at 6:20 a.m.


Update 1/4: The aircraft has been removed from the runway and now the accident investigation will begin.

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Feb 03 2009

NASCAR driver gets flight of life

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From a.mil

Mike Shiplett, foreground, and Reed Sorenson, background, receive incentive rides in F-15 Eagles from pilots of the 95th Fighter Squadron Jan. 23 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Mr. Sorenson, driver of Air Force sponsored No. 43 NASCAR, and his crew chief received incentive flights to gain a better understanding of the Air Force and its global mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Scott Reed)

Mike Shiplett, foreground, and Reed Sorenson, background, receive incentive rides in F-15 Eagles from pilots of the 95th Fighter Squadron Jan. 23 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Mr. Sorenson, driver of Air Force sponsored No. 43 NASCAR, and his crew chief received incentive flights to gain a better understanding of the Air Force and its global mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Scott Reed)

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Feb 02 2009

U.S. Air Force testing synthetic jet fuel

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From The Energy Business Review

The Air Force will begin operational testing of a synthetic jet fuel made by Rentech of Commerce City, Colorado after lab tests confirmed that it met Air Force requirements for synthetic fuel. The biodegradable, cleaner-burning fuel has a longer shelf-life than existing petroleum-based fuels and can be used with no modifications to the engines.

Read the rest here.

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Feb 01 2009

Volcano alert: Air Force moves Alaska planes to Washington

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From KOMO

TACOMA, Wash. – U.S. Air Force aircraft and personnel are being relocated from Alaska to McChord Air Force Base near Tacoma as a precautionary measure due to heightened activity at Alaska’s Mount Redoubt volcano.

The relocation, while temporary, is expected to last two to four weeks at a minimum, said Master Sgt. Dean J. Miller, a spokesman for the McChord base.

The aircraft and personnel are coming to McChord from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, which is located about 100 miles from the Redoubt volcano.

The mountain began rumbling back to life several days ago, and activity has been increasing ever since. Gas and steam billowed from the mountain’s flank over the weekend.

Alaska volcanoes typically start with an explosion that can shoot ash 50,000 feet high and into the jet stream. The ash can damage or foul aircraft engines in the vicinity.

The Redoubt volcano last erupted in 1989, when it sent out an ash cloud that flamed out the jet engines of a KLM flight carrying 231 passengers on its way to Anchorage. The jet dropped more than two miles before pilots were able to restart the engines and land safely.

Read the rest here.

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Jan 31 2009

The future of Luke AFB hangs in the balance

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From The Arizona Republic

A law designed to keep communities from getting too close to Luke AFB may be on the verge of getting overturned leaving the F-16 training base with fewer options for flight paths. Maricopa County is trying to reverse the law saying that it deprives land owners of the value of their land. Luke, one of the locations being considered as a home for the F-35 is worried that the base will be shut down as the F-16s are phased out.

“If the county policy goes forward, as they are trying to justify, I think we will have additional residential encroachment, and that is a very, very negative message to send to the folks in the Air Force when they are making a decision about where the Joint Strike Fighter is going to be bedded down and where the training is going to take place,” – Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard

My 2 cents? Maricopa County may get exactly what they want, but what will they say if Luke is forced to close and they take with them the 2 billion in revenue that’s pumped into the economy every year?

Read more here.

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Jan 30 2009

$350 million spacecraft — unload carefully

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From af.mil

Aircrews from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Boeing employees offload the Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft from a C-5 Galaxy Jan. 21 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The equipment is part of the Atlas 5 rocket mission set to launch March 9. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chris Hennion)

Aircrews from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., and Boeing employees offload the Wideband Global SATCOM spacecraft from a C-5 Galaxy Jan. 21 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. The equipment is part of the Atlas 5 rocket mission set to launch March 9. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Chris Hennion)

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