An F-15C Eagle pilot achieved an elite milestone of 4,000 flight hours Sept. 27 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Col. Brian “Spiderman” Kamp, Air National Guard advisor to the Air Force Warfare Center, hit the milestone after flying the F-15C over the last 28 years.
“Although the 4,000-hour milestone was never a goal I was seeking, my passion for flying and instructing for the last quarter-century made reaching that mark inevitable,” said Kamp.
Kamp initially joined the Air Force to continue his family legacy after his father served 27 years in the Air Force and his grandfather fought in World War II on D-Day.
“I have been fortunate enough to be a pilot and instructor for this long,” said Kamp. “It’s a passion of mine especially when you see the students’ progress and improve once they understand a specific topic.”
Kamp said he uses his good and bad experiences as examples in the classroom for students to learn and grow from, because there are very few jobs that have very real risks and dangers.
Fortunately, Kamp has never had to eject after flying more than 3,000 sorties — but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had his fair share of close calls from being shot at in Desert Storm to having severe aircraft malfunctions and a mid-air collision.
“After that many sorties, only one percent of them were in-flight emergencies — but that’s still more than 30 in-flight emergencies,” said Kamp. “What we do as fighter pilots is inherently dangerous, and I’ve lost more than a dozen fellow F-15 brethren over the last 28 years just doing their jobs.”
With experience under his belt, Kamp plans to retire next March after 30 years with the Air Force.
“This milestone could not have happened without the professionalism and dedication of Eagle-Maintenance — it will be the culmination of my career,” said Kamp.