HomeNewsArticle Display

Cadet instructor pilots teach Academy sophomores to soar in Arizona

Cadet 2nd Class Khornwitpong Soonthonnitikul, an international student from Thailand at the U.S. Air Force Academy, flies upside down in a TG-16A glider during aerobatics training over Coolidge, Arizona. (Courtesy photo)

Cadet 2nd Class Khornwitpong Soonthonnitikul, an international student from Thailand at the U.S. Air Force Academy, flies upside down in a TG-16A glider during aerobatics training over Coolidge, Arizona. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. (AFNS) -- Blizzard-like conditions may have struck the U.S. Air Force Academy earlier this month, but in Arizona the weather was perfect for cadet instructor pilots who taught Academy sophomores the art of soaring.

During their two-week trip to Coolidge, Arizona, 15 cadets and four officers from the 94th Flying Training Squadron’s Academy Soaring Program taught the cadets how to perform aerobatics.

“We went to Arizona to get six to seven straight days of flying,” said Cadet 1st Class Joseph Gould, a soaring instructor pilot. “The sophomores were nervous at first because they had never been inverted (in a glider), but they really got into it. They have a lot to learn, but by the end of the week they were very good at aerobatics.”

The 94th FTS flies more than 17,000 sorties a year, making it the most active soaring operation in the U.S. Each year, 80 cadets attend a semester-long instructor pilot upgrade course.

“The soaring program broadened my horizons,” said Cadet 3rd Class Merrick Isley. “I didn’t get to experience airmanship my freshman year and this program exposed me to the best the Academy has. This is a positive environment and helps everyone grow. This training in Arizona has been great because we don’t have school and I get to focus on flying.”

Capt. Brian Ross, the 94th FTS group training officer, is a 2008 Academy grad. He returned to his alma mater in 2014 to learn to pilot gliders.

“This program introduces cadets to aviation, which is what many of them will do in their Air Force careers,” he said. “It provides leadership opportunities because cadets are in charge of the trip. Making reservations and working with airfields gives them experience they will use in the operational Air Force when they go on a temporary duty assignment.”

Four TG-16A gliders were trailered from the Academy to Arizona for the event.

“It’s been a great experience and gives us a whole new perspective,” Gould said. “It’s a great way to get away from homework and be with people who want to fly. It’s a chance to challenge yourself and a lot of fun.”

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @AETCommand: #BehindTheScenes - Command Chief Master Sergeant training course students at @HQAirUniversity learn about leadership, commu…
RT @thejointstaff: Watch today's change of responsibility ceremony, hosted by #GenMilley, live @ 10 a.m. EST on Twitter. @SEAC_Troxell wil…
RT @HQ_AFMC: 📽️We're back to the @Afresearchlab for Day 10 of #24DaysAFMC. This year they tested a state-of-the-art rocket #engine preburne…
RT @16AF_AFCYBER: The holiday season is a prime time for online thieves to take advantage of weaknesses in shoppers' devices to extract per…
RT @USAFCENT: ALWAYS READY | Members of the 823d Expeditionary Base Defense Squadron test their combat life-saving skills during a medical…
Nearly 10,000 participants from around the world took part in the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan, China. And… https://t.co/CRYacyFtEJ
Ever heard of the rule of 0-0-1-3? No. Well it means to have zero alcohol if you're underage, zero drinks if you're… https://t.co/7bNRnhYuWS
RT @HQ_AFMC: #Readiness was on display by our @AFResearchLab teams during a live-virtual-constructive training simulation, enabling #Airmen
RT @AFWERX: We can't wait for 2020: The @USAirForce Advanced Manufacturing Olympics is slated for July 8-9 in Salt Lake City & will bring t…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “The Silver Flag training sites provide our Airmen with real-world scenarios to reinforce our Air Force Specialty Code sk…
RT @US_TRANSCOM: Watch a @usairforce KC-10A refuel, and be refueled during same mission in support of @CJTFOIR. #Togetherwdeliver #NKAWTG #…
RT @AETCommand: Transforming the way we learn with technology is one of our key priorities here in the First Command! Check out the photos…
RT @AirNatlGuard: This week, @ChiefNGB visited the @PRNationalGuard at Muñiz Air National Guard Base to meet with senior leaders and discus…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: YOU are the most important reason for our mission success. Take care of each other & preserve the connections & commun…
RT @AirmanMagazine: When it comes to acquisitions, the @usairforce has the need for speed. Equipping Airmen with the best technology start…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: A distinct privilege to help unveil the F-117 exhibit, establishing this remarkable aircraft in its rightful place in…
RT @AirNatlGuard: “For me personally, the CAP and Air Guard go hand in hand. When I look back at any state active duty or state support we…
RT @GenDaveGoldfein: Honored to participate on a panel with my fellow Service Chiefs at the @ReaganInstitute. May our leaders of today & th…