HomeNewsArticle Display

Son flies in father's footsteps

Col. Al Wimmer, left, exchanges a word with his son, Capt. Taylor Wight, before their dissimilar aircraft mission Dec. 12, 2014, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Wimmer is the director of Air Forces Northern's Operations and Information Operations Directorate and an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, and his son, Wight, is the assistant chief of training with the 335th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund)

Col. Al Wimmer, left, exchanges a word with his son, Capt. Taylor Wight, before their dissimilar aircraft mission Dec. 12, 2014, at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Wimmer is the director of Air Forces Northern's Operations and Information Operations Directorate and an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot, and his son, Wight, is the assistant chief of training with the 335th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., and an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kurt Skoglund)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE Fla. (AFNS) -- Some sons walk in their father's footsteps, while others fly in them.

Such was the case recently when Capt. Taylor Wight, an F-15E Strike Eagle pilot, flew a Weapons Systems Evaluation Program mission at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida with his father, Col. Al Wimmer, director of Air Forces Northern's Operations and Information Operations Directorate and an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot.

Both U.S. Air Force Academy graduates said they knew from their teenage years they wanted to fly. Wimmer flew his first flight at age 16 as a member of the Civil Air Patrol, which he joined at age 13.

"While I was at the Academy, I learned more about the Air Force and its missions and knew I wanted to be a fighter pilot," Wimmer said. "I was lucky enough to achieve that."

Wight recalls he knew from high school his desire to be a fighter pilot.

"I remember us living at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada and watching from our back porch at all the F-16 Vipers taking off and feeling the thuds from the afterburners as they took off," Wight said. "That's where it all kind of evolved for me."

Now, after 24 years, Wimmer is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flying hours in the F-16, including 450 combat hours. His son is the assistant chief of training with the 335th Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. He became a F-15E pilot after an assignment as a T-6A Texan II instructor pilot at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.

For Wight, he said flying with his dad was an honor and humbling experience.

"It's still sinking in," Wight said. "It's very surreal to fly a mission with my dad, and see him in his Viper and there I am flying the Strike Eagle. I feel super blessed, honored and humbled to have that chance. It's been a great day."

Given their different platforms, the mission they flew was a dissimilar aircraft dog fight. Rumor has it dad trumped, but both returned with a lifelong memory.

"First of all, it's a dream to fly fighters, to watch my boy fly, and for us to fly together," Wimmer said. "We were both beaming ear to ear all the way back."

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @ActingSecAF: Fanstastic first day @salondubourget with iconic @NASA astronauts like @WordenAlfred & @AstroHague! And great discussion…
Herculean Heights: Resilient leader at Youngstown reaches 10,000 hrs milestone. @910AW @USAFReserve #USAFhttps://t.co/dNmxl0nrmu
.@124FighterWing #pilot executes an austere landing at the Freedom Landing Strip, #NationalTrainingCenterhttps://t.co/HQ6xjGohcs
#USAF BMT is changing this #summer! #Airmen will spend more time on weapons familiarization, along w/ additions of… https://t.co/wlHwtx7XWO
#USAF #Airmen continues the process of making his childhood dream of playing professional football come true. https://t.co/iAl70c8GXS
The opening of Cargo City successfully transitions operations from the #USAF & Coalition Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Ba… https://t.co/K73PkhjpNY
RT @AirmanMagazine: It started as a dare between two pilots... The @usairforce Hurricane Hunters save lives by flying through hurricanes t…
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks to this crew for making the right call and saving the life of a fellow service member. https://t.co/cP4KCIQFgD
The Space Test Program-2 will provide the #USAF with insight into the SpaceX booster recovery and refurbishing proc… https://t.co/qYhlj7Je9V
RT @ActingSecAF: Happy birthday @USArmy. 244 years of defending our nation. @SecArmy https://t.co/AfMoPxwbd8
RT @DeptofDefense: “They’re really noisy, but I love them.” This @USAirForce F-15 Eagle crew chief from the @142ndFW shares his motivation…
Today, America recognizes the birth of Old Glory with its own holiday. Flag Day was first celebrated in 1877 to mar… https://t.co/wqoEjdqQFy
#FollowFriday! @ActingSecAF Matthew Donovan is responsible for the affairs of the #USAF, including the organizing,… https://t.co/28IlKOKWMq
.@NellisAFB fixed wing aircrews are flight-testing new prototype helmets this summer, thanks in part to an accelera… https://t.co/4HSUGSk3Qg
The 2019 @warriorgames Opening Ceremony is set for 6/22 @AmalieArena w/@HunterHayes! Stay up to date with your… https://t.co/u34QuBnpdo
.@AETCommand's latest #podcast series dives into "Developing Mach-21 #Airmen," providing visibility on recruiting,… https://t.co/CGSHJonQAT
RT @ActingSecAF: Thanks to the support of Congress, the @usairforce is developing game changing technology. #fasterandsmarter https://t.co/…