Salutes & Awards

October 17, 2013

Pilot for a Day

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U.S. Air Force photos by Airman 1st Class Josh Slavin
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1st Lt Dan Huber, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, helps Bryce fly an A-10 simulator. As an honorary pilot, Crane received the opportunity to fly the same simulator that D-M’s pilots train on.

The goal of the Pilot for a Day program is to provide children, who have serious or chronic conditions, and their families with the opportunity to be a guest of the 355th Fighter Wing and one of D-M’s squadrons for a day. The program strives to give each child a special day as an honorary pilot and a break from the challenges they face.

Bryce Crane, a five-year-old Tucsonan recovering from Leukemia, hugs his mother, Tracey Crane, at D-M on Sept. 25. The Cranes were getting a tour of an A-10 Warthog hangar.

Capt. Paul Wruk, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, helps Bryce Crane, a five-year-old Tucsonan, navigate through rough terrain at D-M. As an honorary pilot, Crane received the opportunity to fly the same simulator that D-M’s pilots train on.

1st Lt Dan Huber, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, helps Bryce fly an A-10 simulator. As an honorary pilot, Crane received the opportunity to fly the same simulator that D-M’s pilots train on.

Lt. Col. Steven Behmer, 354th Fighter Squadron commander, places an A-10 Warthog patch on the sleeve of Bryce. To welcome him to the squadron and help him step into the role of a pilot, Bryce was given a flight suit and helmet among many other gifts from the 354th FS.

Staff Sgt. Cole Connors, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, and Bryce, knock down cones with a fire hose. Bryce visited the firehouse and rode in a fire truck during his trip to D-M and learned about the support they provide to the flight line and buildings on base.

Staff Sgt. Cole Connors, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, and Bryce, descend the fire truck. Connors taught Bryce how to operate the fire truck’s ladder during a Pilot for a Day tour.

Airman 1st Class Derrick Schwenk, 55th Rescue Squadron special mission aviator, teaches Bryce about the weapons on an HH-60 Pavehawk. The 55th RQS was one of three squadrons Crane visited during his trip to D-M.




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(U.S. Air Force Illustration by Airman 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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