DM hosts 2022 Heritage Flight Training Course

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., hosted Air Combat Command’s 2022 Heritage Flight Training Course in Tucson, Ariz., March 2-6, 2022.

The HFTC prepares members of the four ACC single-ship demonstration teams for their upcoming air show season.

Maj. Haden “Gator” Fullam, A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team pilot and commander, taxis on the flight line during the 2022 Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 3, 2022. During the course, aircrew practice ground and flight training to enable civilian pilots of historic military aircraft and U.S. Air Force pilots of current fighter aircraft to fly safely in formations together. The HFTC is also intended to certify air show pilots for the upcoming air show season. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Alex Miller)

“Training is imperative to what we do every day, and this course ensures our demonstration teams and Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation pilots receive the best training and preparation they can get,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Bittner, chief of ACC aerial events branch. “These Airmen represent the best of what ACC and the Air Force have to offer from the crew chiefs, equipment technicians and pilots.”

During this annual requirement, World War II and Korean-era aircraft from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation fly alongside ACC’s A-10 Thunderbolt II, F-16 Viper, F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II demonstration teams. This training ensures they are certified to fly safely in close formations and primed for the upcoming national and international air shows for the season.

“Aviation safety is an important factor for our demonstration teams,” said Capt. Sky Lesh, HFTC project officer. “This allows the public to enjoy what these teams are capable of, and learn about the Air Force’s heritage and mission.”

The Heritage Flight program began in March 1997, only a couple of years after ACC was activated almost 30 years ago.

“Heritage Flight Training Course is an homage to the history and modernization of our capabilities within Air Combat Command and the U.S. Air Force,” Bittner said. “We continue to educate our communities through the air shows we perform in celebrating 75 years of Air Force history.”

Maj. Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team pilot and commander, flies in formation with a P-51 Mustang during the 2022 Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 3, 2022. During the course, aircrew practice ground and flight training to enable civilian pilots of historic military aircraft and U.S. Air Force pilots of current fighter aircraft to fly safely in formations together. The HFTC is also intended to certify air show pilots for the upcoming air show season. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Alex Miller)
U.S. Air Force Maj. Haden “Gator” Fullum, A-10 Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team pilot and commander, flies in a four-ship formation alongside 3 P-51 Mustangs during Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, March 6, 2022. During the event, civilian warbird pilots and current Air Force demonstration pilots trained together ahead of the 2022 air show season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Kristine Legate)

U.S. Air Force retired Col. James Meger admires an F-86 sabre with a Vietnam veteran during the 2022 Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, March 6, 2022. The Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation celebrates U.S. air power history and serves as a living memorial to those who have served in the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Cheyenne A. Morigeau)

More Stories

A new belonging
By Staff Sgt. Kristine Legate
DM hosts 2022 Freedom Fest
By Airman 1st Class Paige Wheldom
DM’s Airmen Leadership School Introduces...
By Airman 1st Class Vaughn Weber | Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.