Handling a Backseat Ride Like This Can Make You a Flight Line Legend
How many of us would jump at the opportunity to ride in the back seat of an F-16D Fighting Falcon? If you guessed every last one you’re close if not right on. Well Senior Airman Mathieu Cyrus, an F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team avionics specialist, was fortunate enough to receive a familiarization ride in the F-16D by one of the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team pilots. Since it’s unlikely the vast majority of us will get to play back seater in a jet like the F-16D, we’ll just have to watch Mr. Cyrus do it. Enjoy as he earns his ‘I Busted Mach 1,’ ‘I pulled 9 Gs and Didn’t Fade,’ and ‘No Buick Bag’ patches. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Gung Ho Vids.
Demo Team Summit
The Air Force Heritage Flight Training Course is an annual event that usually takes place at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) near Tucson in Arizona. This year’s event drew the A-10 Warthog, F-16 Viper, F-22 Raptor, and F-35 Lightning II demo teams. Major Cody “ShiV” Wilton and Major Garret “Toro” Schmitz will still be flying the Warthog and Viper respectively for the 2020 demo season. Major Joshua “Cabo” Gunderson will be the Raptor demo pilot for 2020. Captain Kristin “Beo” Wolf will be the Lightning II pilot as well as Team commander.
Impressive Warbird Heritage Presence
The Heritage Flight Training Course also draws several generations of warbirds. In attendance for the 2020 course were the Cavalier Mustang II SN 67-14866 Bum Steer, the P-51D Mustang SN 44-63507 Double Trouble Two, the P-51D Mustang SN 44-84961 Wee Willy II, the P-51D Mustang SN 44-73420 Silver, the P-51D Mustang SN 44-73029 Bald Eagle, and the P-51K Mustang SN 44-12852 Frenesi. Also in Tucson for the course were the F-86F Sabre SN 52-5012 Jolly Roger, the Canadair CL-13 Mk.6 SN RCAF23671 Sabre painted to represent US Air Force F-86E Sabre SN 51-2756 Hell-Er Bust, the Curtiss-built “razorback” P-47G Thunderbolt SN 42-25068 Snafu, and the Curtiss P-40N Warhawk SN 44-7369 wearing American Volunteer Group (AVG) colors.