Archive for the ‘F15 Pilot’ Category
U.S. Air Force F-15 pilots are angry about the decision to not include flat screen displays in the cockpit in the implementation of upgrades to the electronics of F-15s. At the same time, larger, and higher resolution displays are being installed in some F-15s for export customers.
The pilots point out that the upgraded radars and other sensors provide F-15 pilots with a lot more information, more data than the current 4×4 inch (10x10cm) displays can handle. Most pilots are also familiar with the Retina (2880×1800 pixels for cockpit use) display Apple introduced two years ago for its iPhone and other devices. The Retina display puts 50-100 percent more data out there than previous display types. The pilots know higher resolution is very useful. So the pilots are agitating now, while there’s still time to fix this oversight.
The military procurement bureaucracy, especially in peacetime, often creates problems like this. It’s a combination of office politics, cluelessness, and just plain ignorance that make it all happen or, rather, not happen. But in this case most of the users are university trained engineers and very much aware of any shortcomings in their current or upcoming gear. The pilots, as a group, are also quite articulate. They know how to let the media and politicians know about things that need to be fixed.
The pilots also know that their F-15s will be around for a while yet. The new F-35 is mainly to replace a lot of aging F-16s. The F-22 was meant to replace the F-15 but proved too expensive for that. So the current F-15s will serve for another 10-20 years, until the combat UAVs become common enough to serve as affordable replacements.
Get your hands on a U.S. Air Force F-15 model airplane only with Showcase Models – the largest source for aviation collectibles like civilian model planes, desktop airplane models, military aircraft models and other iconic large scale model planes. Get yours now!
In 1993, Col. Jeannie Leavitt became the first female fighter pilot of the U.S. Air Force. In less than 20 years, she has been tapped as a commander of an Air Force combat fighter wing. Leavitt is the first woman to hold such position.
“It helped that once we started flying, people began to see that we were there because of our abilities and not our gender,” Leavitt said in an exclusive telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I don’t see it as a ‘first’ sort of thing. I see it as an incredible opportunity, an incredible honor, to lead a unit with its history and heritage.”
Leavitt has flown more than 2,500 hours with the F-15 Strike Eagle, including 300 hours of combat flying mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Leavitt entered the Air Force in 1992 through the ROTC program of Univeristy of Texas where she earned an aerospace engineering degree. Since then, Leavitt had earned four more masters degree and several military medals, including a Bronze Star.
Col. Jeannie Leavitt has served as an instructor at the elite Air Force Weapons School where she was also the first female graduate. She had also served one year in Washington, D.C., on a special assignment with the CIA. She also as a commander of a fighter squadron and deputy commander of an operations group in Afghanistan.
With her new position, Col. Jeannie Leavitt will take over the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Base, handling one of the three military units that operate F-15Es. She will be in charge of the wing’s 5,000 men and women on active duty.
News source: abcnews.go.com
The 120th Fighter Wing of the Montana Air National Guard will extend its current air combat alert mission at Joint Base Pearl-Hickam, Hawaii until September 2012.
The extension is a result of a recent decision to leave the F-15 mission at MANG longer than originally anticipated. MANG is performing the 24-hour alert mission in Hawaii while that base converts from the F-15 to the newer, more high-tech F-22 Raptor. Approximately 30 pilots, maintainers and logistics personnel, in addition to six F-15s, from MANG have been deployed to Hawaii since August of last year. They were originally scheduled to return in January 2012.
When the personnel were fist deployed, a MANG spokesman said many of those making the trip had sold their homes or rented them out in anticipation of a long deployment.
An alert-status mission means the F-15s must be ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fly at a moment’s notice if an aircraft is in trouble or an unidentified plane enters restricted airspace or acts erratically, according to MANG officials.
Lt. Col. Wes “Pappy” French, a Kingsley Field instructor pilot, passed a significant flying milestone this summer. On June 8, the 45-year-old fighter jet pilot logged his 3,000th hour flying the F-15, becoming the third active Kingsley pilot to reach the mark.
If you do the math, that’s 125 days spent roaming the skies in the tight cockpit of the air-to-air fighter jet.But that doesn’t take into consideration the countless hours French and about 25 other instructor pilots at Kingsley spend preparing to the fly the $30 million machines.
“Every milestone has been a proud moment, but to me the more important part is that every hour I’m up there I’m providing good training for the guys I’m working with,” said French, a member of the Oregon Air National Guard’s 173rd Fighter Wing.
Instructor pilots at Kingsley fly about four days a week, logging five to six hours in the air over that time period. Kingsley trains pilots to fly the F-15 and is the base to train pilots on the F-15C, a single-seat version of the fighter jet.
“We take a guy that is straight out of pilot school and train him for about six months to make the F-15 a fighting machine,” French said. “It’s very tough for them.”
Source: Herald and News
Two USAF F-15Es had to make an emergency landing at St. John’s International Airport, Canada on Wednesday after one of the jets had a hydraulic problem.
The landing was accomplished without incident, but emergency vehicles were on standby. One of the pilots told VOCM News that the problem was a minor hydraulic issue.
The Americans are from a base in the United Kingdom. There were 4 people travelling in both fighter jets. The pilot says they anticipate being in St. John’s for a couple of days until the problem is fixed.
The F-15E Strike Eagle is an all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. United States Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker camouflage and conformal fuel tanksmounted along the engine intakes.
It has been deployed in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force and Operation Odyssey Dawn carrying out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries.
A Saudi pilot died when his U.S.-made F-15 fighter jet crashed in eastern Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Defense Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that Lt. Saif bin Abdullah died when his F-15 plane crashed late on Monday evening during a routine training flight over King Abdul-Aziz air base in the country’s east.
The statement says authorities are investigating the crash.
Saudi Arabia announced last fall a $60 billion deal to buy 84 new F-15 fighter jets.
The parents of a marine pilot who rescued a downed Air Force F-15 pilot in Libya talked about their son’s rescue mission.
Captain Erik Kolle, 32, is safe after rescuing an airman who ejected from his F-15 after an engine malfunction.
Thomas and Karin Kolle said their son doesn’t know what all the fuss is about because he was just doing his job.
Thomas Kolle was following the story in the Internet when he learned that Ospreys were involved in the rescue.
“First thing I thought was that there was a possibility that Erik, being an Osprey pilot, might have been involved in the mission,” said Thomas.
A few hours later Thomas Kolle got an email from his son.
“It was very short and to the point,” said Thomas. “It said, ‘Dad, we landed about a hundred yards from the guy. It took him about five seconds to get on the aircraft, and we high-tailed it out of there.’”
The F-15 had crashed about 25 miles east of Venghazi, Libya.
Erik and his co-pilot found and rescued the downed pilot when they saw a flare on the ground.
Karin said her son told her the rescue mission was conducted without any shots being fired.
Kolle has been a marine for the past 13 years. He trained for two years to fly an Osprey.
“He was picked as the only one out of his class to fly the Osprey,” said Karin. “So I think it was all like he meant to do this.”
“I was very proud of all the people who participated in the rescue and also thankful that the pilot was rescued,” said Thomas. “(There) obviously could have had another outcome, which might not have been as pleasant.”
Thomas said he had a feeling Erik would be involved because prior to his deployment to the Mediterranean Erik had been through some specialized night flying certification. The rescue mission took place in the dark.
This is Captain Erik Kolle’s third deployment overseas.
USS Mount Whitney, Mediterranean Sea - Two crew members ejected from their U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle when the aircraft experienced equipment malfunction over northeast, Libya, March 21, at approximately 10:30 p.m. CET.
Both F-15 crew members ejected and are safe.
The F-15 aircraft, based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, was flying out of Aviano Air Base in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn at the time of the incident.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
The identities will be released after the next of kin have been notified.
Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn is the U.S. Africa Command task force established to provide operational and tactical command and control of U.S. military forces supporting the international response to the unrest in Libya and enforcement of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1973. UNSCR 1973 authorizes all necessary measures to protect civilians in Libya under threat of attack by Qadhafi regime forces.
It was the summer before her senior year at the University of Texas at Austin, and officer candidate Cathy De La Garza was headed to an air base in Florida to spend two weeks “shadowing” an active duty officer. The idea was to get a taste of the real Air Force before she graduated.
” The officer was an F-15 pilot. I got a couple of rides when I was down there,” she said, “and that just brainwashed me.”
De La Garza grew up in Austin, the daughter of a Japanese mom and Irish dad, the latter a retired Air Force chief master sergeant. Her two older brothers were pilots; one flew C-130s for the Air Force, the other Army helicopters. “I kind of looked up to them, I guess,” she said. In addition, a brother-in-law flew F-14s for the Navy. By the time she got to high school, she’d decided she wanted to fly, too.
De La Garza knew what she wanted to do. And the timing was right. That spring, the Pentagon had begun allowing women to compete to fly combat aircraft.
Today, De La Garza is one of only seven woman F-15 pilots in the Air Force. For the past two years, she has flown the F-15C, a powerful air-to-air combat version of the jet, for the 71st Fighter Squadron at Langley Air Force Base. It’s a tour of duty that has included two deployments to the Persian Gulf region and roughly 50 flights over the “no-fly” zone in southern Iraq. Now a captain, she also recently earned an upgrade to “2-ship flight lead”; that means she can lead another jet out on a combat mission.
“It pushes me to do a lot of things I wouldn’t do normally,” De La Garza said during a recent interview at Langley. “It just forces me to use all my skill, everything they taught me. It just puts me out there.”
She’s aware that others still view her as a curiosity — including, upon first meeting, the wives of her male squadron mates, even though she’s married. She’s also fully versed in the short history of women in combat jets, including the controversy that swirled around the first women combat pilots in the Navy. She insists she hasn’t been granted special favors or considerations during her five-year career.
“I think I’ve been treated fairly and allowed to succeed or fail like everybody else,” she said. “I was not given preferential treatment. I can tell you that.”
Asked if she foresees a day when just as many women as men are flying combat jets, De La Garza said it will depend on the level of interest. If she were to ask a room full of young women what they want to do in life, she said, “I don’t think too many women would say, ‘I want to fly jets.’”
Ultimately, the attempt to integrate women into combat roles “may fail miserably,” De La Garza said. “Who knows? We haven’t had the history to make that decision. But I think everybody should have the opportunity” to fill such roles, she said. De La Garza hopes she’s one woman who is breaking down barriers to those opportunities.
- userpagesaug.com -
From August 22-26, more than 250 Airmen from the 4th Fighter Wing (FW), the 336th Fighter Squadron and 336th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron departed the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJ AFB) to assume the F-15E Strike Eagle close air support mission at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.
The men and women of the 4th FW will play a key role in ensuring the Strike Eagles and those who operate them are ready to answer calls for help from those who come under enemy fire at a moment’s notice.
Recently, Seymour Johnson Airmen have been called upon to lead the U.S. Air Force’s new policy of deploying their Air Expeditionary Force aviation package to Bagram Airfield for a six-month rotation, instead of the previous standard four-month tour.
Airman 1st Class Ryan Konning, who joined the Air Force in 2006, was eager to begin the mission. This is the first time he has deployed with his unit. “I can’t wait to get over there,” said the 336th AMU crew chief.
Several of the deploying Airmen returned from their last deployment to Bagram Airfield less than a year ago. Despite being Senior Airman Reece Dvorak’s third deployment, leaving his family behind never gets any easier. “(Leaving) is necessary, but you want to be with your family,” said the 336th AMU aircraft maintainer. “You are torn because you know it is something you have to do, (since) the F-15 provides one of the biggest advantages to those on the ground.”
When Colonel Doherty addressed the departing Airmen he made a point to let them know their family members will not be left without a support unit while they are gone. “We will take care of your loved ones,” he said. “That is our job and our responsibility.”