Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol Jumps Into Action with Tsunami Warnings

Hawaii_Wing_Cessna_in_preflight_75F3E19E3E86BToday at 0600 local Hawaii time, the Hawaii Wing of the Civil Air Patrol – the Civilian Auxiliary of the Air Force – launched 9 Cessna aircraft to initiate tsunami warnings for the islands of Hawaii.

This is a critical mission for the Hawaii wing, they are tasked with being ready to launch within 1 hour of being alerted and according to an article on the Civil Air Patrol media site, they were able to meet that goal.  Hawaii Wing Commander Col. Roger Caires said “I am proud of our members, they again met the standard of being ready to launch within one hour.”

Hawaii News Now posted this article with a really good video of Civil Air Patrol crews in action.

As more information comes in regarding the Civil Air Patrol response, I will keep you updated.


130th Rescue Squadron – Elite pilots on a serious mission.

IMG_4474My trip to the 129th Rescue Wing was filled with a lot of exciting and awe inspiring moments.  Not the least of which was my flight with the 130th Rescue Squadron.  The purpose of the flight was general training and to practice infil./exfil. of a Pararescue Jumper on a 4-wheeler.  I was pretty excited that I was going to be able to witness all of this first hand.  This was going to be a night flight with night vision goggles.  It included a number of low level (500ft AGL), lights out 10 mile approaches and I can say with complete certainty, that without the NVG, you would not have been able to make the field, let alone land on it. (more…)


129th Rescue Wing – Saving lives at home and abroad.

IMG_4355Back in November, I had the opportunity to visit the great people of the 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Field in California.  The wing includes a number of units, the ones I’m going to tell you about are the 129th Rescue Squadron, the 130th Rescue Squadron and the 131st Rescue Squadron.  The intention of my visit was to showcase the great work that some of Air Force‘s elite units are doing, both at home and abroad.  While I was on the trip, I met members of each of these units and had a chance to take a flight on an MC-130P Combat Shadow, where we practiced some exciting night flying maneuvers including (a first for me) 500ft AGL night approaches from 10 miles.

Because I learned so much about each of these units, I’m going to break each one into a separate post, beginning with the 130th Rescue Squadron and my flight on the MC-130P.  I’ll be adding a new post each week beginning today.

Have you had an experience with any of these units?  Have you had a chance to fly in a C-130 of any kind?  Leave your story in the comments.

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2 Sukhoi SU-27UB Aircraft for sale on the open U.S. Market

IMG_3218So you want to go Mach 1.8 huh? (the 2 seat version maxes out at Mach 1.8)  Well now you can, for the low low asking price of $6,000,000 each.  For the first – and possibly the last – time ever you can become the proud owner of 2, Sukhoi SU-27UB 4th generation fighter aircraft.  Just before Oshkosh AirVenture 2009 I visited Pride Aircraft in Rockford Illinois who is offering for sale 2 Sukhoi SU-27UB fighters brought straight to you from a former Soviet Republic.  Number 31 (built in 1990) and number 32 (built in 1988) have been fully restored and both the engines and airframes were “zeroed out” at the factory.  At the moment, the engines have approximately 12 hours each – each aircraft has around 600 hours total time.  These airframes look brand new.  They also both include freshly overhauled Zvedzda K-36DM ejection seats.  Pride has been diligently working to convert all of the instruments, avionics and communications equipment over to standard American gear.  This includes all new commercial grade communication radios and state of the art Garmin 530 GPS units. (more…)


U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds come to Chicago

IMG_1170This year the Chicago Air and Water show will play host to the United States Air Force Demonstration Squadron known as the Thunderbirds. They arrived at Gary Airport this morning – Gary is where the Air show is staged every year. They’ll be taking some much needed time off while in Chicago, and will begin practicing again on Friday. The team has made some interesting changes this year – to bolster the Air Force’s “Total Force Initiative”, they have taken on a member of the Air National Guard, and the Reserves. (more…)


UPDATE: Want to own your very own Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker?

Su-27_on_landingWell, now you can!  Pride Aircraft in Rockford Illinois has 2 for sale.  They are the first 4th generation fighter aircraft available on the open market in the United States.  They arrived here in the US from the Ukraine, completely demilitarized and ready for a complete overhaul in order to be put up for sale to a wealthy warbird collector looking to scream along at Mach 2.

I’ve been given the opportunity to go check out these aircraft – I’ll be bringing you the complete details on Friday.  Needless to say, I’m excited to check out these historical fighters.

UPDATE: I was at Pride Aircraft today.  I can tell you this, these are 2 of the most amazing aircraft I have ever seen.  I am not able to bring you the full story just yet because of some minor issues, but when I can – it’s going to be amazing.  I’m hoping to be able to have the post up by Monday.