Jets Press Aviation Links

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Webmasters, please Contact us at to arrange reciprocal links related to high performance aircraft. The organizations linked below communicate passion for aviation through their pages:

Fighter Jet Crew Chief Links

The above fighter mechanic/Hercules flight engineer career book includes a personal description of this crew chief's application to the USAF Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. He was selected to join the team not long after the January, 1982 T-38 training accident where the team lost 4 demonstration pilots.

F-4 Phantom Crew Chief: Sam Lassiter's Vietnam Saga
Sam describes his career as a Vietnam combat fighter crew chief.

F-105 “Thud” Mechanic Recalls Vietnam Days
An F-105 Thunderchief avionics technician remembers what is was like to work on the jet and live in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War in a article

C-130 Crew Chief: SeeThe World in in a C-130
C-130 crew chief Steve Brown shares his Hercules maintenance career with the world, after traveling the world.

Flying Tiger: A Crew Chief's story by Frank and Terry Losonsky
Flying Tiger is the first of five fighter mechanic elaborations on fighter culture Jets Press has discovered besides our own title, One Desert Jet Turner.
Quoting the Schiffer Books website: "This new book is the war diary of a Flying Tiger American Volunteer Group crew chief from the 3rd Pursuit Squadron. Much of the Flying Tiger history is written from the pilot's viewpoint. These brave pilots deserve much praise, but those who fixed the aircraft and kept them flying [ i.e. Crew Chiefs! ] also have a story to tell." The Losonskys' book covers Frank's 1939-1945 experience.

The war diaries of Sgt. Robert L. Covington: 60th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Group, U.S. Army Air Corps, November 1942-February 1945
The War diaries of Sergeant Robert L. Covington is the second of five books referred to above--the diary of another P-40 Flying Tiger crew chief. You may inquire about this book at this Pocahontas Press link (unrelated to Jets Press).

"War Diaries" was made possible by the author's sister Odell, who sent him off to the service with the following gift and accompanying advice:
Quoting the book's introduction "My sister"..., "presented me with a small"... "diary"...,"saying something like, "You might not always find time to write, so jot down some of your thoughts...""

Jot he did. The rear cover flap accurately summarizes "His diaries are personal accounts of ground and air activities of one of the most traveled fighter groups in World War II, the "Fighting Nomads.""

Robert Covington shares his reactions to everything in his field of view as he trained and later served as an Army Air Corps mechanic traveling the world during wartime.

War Diaries includes many pictures, a two page geographical summary of his journey through service, a glossary that defines many of the terms listed in the diary, as well as relevant newspaper excerpts.

The author had a keen eye for what was relevant to document for posterity and makes it clear that non-commissioned officers also gained wide perspective through service.

A Crew Chief's Recollecton

(Note the following article is no longer available as the above link describes the association has unfortunately been disbanded) Mr. Norm Kalow's (fighter jet crew chief) description of the F-86A-5 Sabre from the Spring 1993 Volume 2 Number 1 issue of Sabre Jet Classics magazine published by the F-86 Sabre Pilots Association. Mr. Kalow describes his perception of the aircraft and as well as accidents he felt noteworthy in this article.

Behind the Copilot's Seat: An Enlisted Man's Perspective on Flying with Student Pilots-USAF by Charles P. Hattenstein
Quoting the publisher's website "The book is about the experiences of a Flight Engineer flying with Aviation Cadet/Student Pilots during their [B-25] training in the United States Air Force."

Interview with Thomas Wharton, SMSgt. USAF, Retired
SMSgt. Wharton's career includes amongst others an assignment with the USAF Thunderbirds. Tom was interviewed online in April of 2004 by Jon Somerville of He was a "crew chief" from June 1970 through February 1996. This interview celebrates and details the exiting career of this senior fighter mechanic.
Tom's attitude and patriotism inspired the author of One Desert Jet Turner. (ODJT)

Interview with James J. Olschlager, MSgt. USAF, Retired
Quoting the author of ODJT:
"MSgt. Olschlager, or "Jim," as our "no-patcher" peers and I knew him, was the most outstanding young NCO I knew on the Team. He loved his country, his career, and his peers. I could feel from close interactions during our 21-day orientation program (he made the Team, I didn't) that he had already "done stuff" and would achieve much more. His humble description of his career represents what most American airmen dream to do and become when they take their oath of enlistment."
James was interviewed online in July of 2004 by Jon Somerville of

Wearing "the Patch"
May 2003, Airman Magazine article regarding one USAF Thunderbirds Crew Chief's quest to earn his "Patch."

Angels in the Field
April 2003, Aviation Maintenance Magazine article (entitled Aviation Maintenance: Angels in the Field) regarding the credit due the Blue Angels maintenance and support team.

Blue Angels with Dirty Faces by Ron Beeler
In this book, Former Blue Angels Special Flight crewman and jet mechanic, [yes, an enlisted person!] shares Blue Angels history from a fresh point of view. This is the third of the three fighter mechanic elaborations mentioned above. Order it from the link above or from your store of choice using ISBN:9781934035139 1934035130.

An American Story by Debra J. Dickerson
Quoting Earl Heron, "I started basic training a week after Debra did, and may have even seen her flight on the grounds as our units engaged in parallel training on Lackland Air Force Base. In An American Story, I was captivated by Debra's writing and cutting life experience, both of which drawf mine in One Desert Jet Turner. Debra points out why she didn't take the aviation route during Air Force service in her chapter titled "Airman Dickerson." Her journey through service, what motivated her to serve, what she did after service, and how she evolved as a product of that experience led my eyes to fill will water in some sections, and with pride in others. I salute her and her work!"

U.S. Coast Guard Honors Helicopter Heroes
2001 USCG retire newsletter article featuring the contributions of Coast Guard HH-60J flight mechanics Lorne Green, and Sam Pulliam

The Crew Chiefs of the Canadian Forces "Snowbirds"
The Crew Chiefs of the 431 Air Demonstration Squadron "Snowbirds"

The Ejection Site
Quoting webmaster Kevin Coyne:
"Welcome to the Ejection Site." "...Egress systems are nearly unique in the world of technology as they are intended to exist for extended periods and then at need perform an extremely complex and often precise series of events to save a persons life..."

The seat is integral to the fighter jet culture. Jets Press feels privileged to be able to include this link to Kevin's treasure-trove of Egress information.

Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) Specialized English Training Career Field Resources - Aircraft Maintenance
This list of resources intended for students to practice specialized English as a second language by reading publications in their vocational area can also be useful to people whose primary language is English who wish to learn more about the aircraft maintenance career.

Follow the transition from civilian, to aircraft maintenance student, to Cold War participant. Order your copy of One Desert Jet Turner today!

Aviation Associations

Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA)
PAMA's mission is to enhance professionalism and recognition of the Aviation Maintenance Technician through communication, education, representation and support for continuous improvement in aviation safety.

The Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP)
"An international organization that seeks to promote air safety and contributes to aeronautical advancement by promoting sound aeronautical design and development; interchanging ideas, thoughts and suggestions of the members, assisting in the professional development of experimental pilots, and providing scholarships and aid to members and the families of deceased members."

The International Black Aerospace Council (IBAC)
"The International Black Aerospace Council coordinates and develops activities of the world aerospace community to enhance outreach efforts pertaining to Blacks in aerospace career fields. The IBAC serves as a clearing house for the exchange of information, ideas and prospects for scholastic and employment opportunities for people of color in aerospace careers."

Research Links

In One Desert Jet Turner (ODJT), the Author relays his unvarnished perception of the training and lifestyle of one fighter mechanic/flight engineer. The following two links detail the training that present-day airmen undergo to qualify and serve in these positions. The training is streamlined but otherwise similar to that mentioned in ODJT:

Crew chiefs train at Luke by Charles Kelly
This Apr. 16, 2005, Arizona Republic article summarizes the Luke AFB hands on training (HOT), that is the second phase of training for new fighter mechanics who have been assigned to maintain the F-16.

Fighter Aircraft Crew Chief Education and Training Plan
The official document organizing the initial and ongoing training and development of USAF fighter jet crew chiefs. Paragraph 4.3 details the plan for airmen to follow to obtain their A&P.

USAF Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Occupational Survey Report (4Mb PDF)
The May 2000, report published by the USAF Occupational Measurement Squadron detailing how crew chiefs view their duties and job satisfaction.

Flight Engineer Education and Training Plan
The official document organizing the initial and ongoing training and development of USAF flight engineers.

USAF Flight Engineer Occupational Survey Report (4Mb PDF)
The June 2002, report published by the USAF Occupational Measurement Squadron detailing how performance qualified flight engineers view their duties and job satisfaction.

Warbird Alley
Warbird Alley is a complete Web resource for owners, operators, restorers, maintainers and enthusiasts of classic ex-military aircraft.

Air University Press
"Your Air and Space Power Publisher" (Publication arm of Air University, the center for advanced education in the U.S. Air Force)

Promoting free-market/limited government solutions to airline safety issues
"Aviation accidents from 1908 through the present"

Naval Institute Press
Publication Forum for the U.S. Naval Institute, the Independent Forum for the Sea Services
Quoting from their homepage:
"...AeroKnow, an aviation museum, a not-for-profit aviation data bank, model museum and educational enterprise, based in Springfield, Illinois, USA..." "...AeroKnow was organized by a group of aviation enthusiasts who believe the best way to learn is to share what we know and reap from the wealth of feedback contributed by those who appreciate what we do..."

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Internet Research Tools
Aviation & aerospace reference guide
Aviation History - Books, Facts, News, Photos, Art Gallery

The Pterodactyl Index
Military-oriented Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Music and Other Sound Recording Albums, CDs and Tapes Artwork and Other Stuff by Military Vets

Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineers
The Virginia Department of Education's extensive reference of aerospace and aeronautical engineering career opportunities. These engineers and the technicians that work with them designed, tested, developed, and fielded the technology described by the fighter jet mechanic who authored One Desert Jet Turner.

Human Factors Links

The Human Factors Research and Technology
Division at the NASA Ames Research Center

NASA's Human Factors Research and Technology Division advances human-centered design and operations of complex aerospace systems through analysis, experimentation, and modeling of human performance and human-automation interaction to make dramatic improvements in safety, efficiency, and mission success.

The FAA Human Factors Research and Engineering Division
This FAA Division provides scientific and technical support for the civil aviation human factors research program and for human factors applications in acquisition, certification, regulation, and standards. It develops and assures implementation of human factors policies, regulations, programs, and procedures which promote the safety and productivity of the national airspace system. It also provides human factors support to acquisition and regulatory activities. The Program Director serves as the principal advisor to the Administrator on human factors.

As published in Aviation Human Factors
"Automation in Aviation: A Human Factors Perspective"

This comprehensive paper documents many considerations of aviation automation and the human factors that relate to it. Anyone new to the concept of human factors should find it an enlightening introduction.

Aviation Book Links

Review of new book "Hanger Flying" by General Merrill A. McPeak.
"This "Hanger Flying" leg of Tony McPeak's planned "Aerial View" trilogy covers his undergraduate pilot training through his Vietnam combat service. The book is full of poignant descriptions of lessons learned and moments of truths. Most memoirs I have read are short on frank sharing of lessons learned, and shy away from naming names--at the expense to a reader's full understanding. In contrast, McPeak addresses all aspects of what I would hope to learn from a memoir of an Air Force General who passed through a Thunderbird seat.

The United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron (USAFADS) "Thunderbirds" are given too little recognition. To me, being selected as a team member is akin to admittance to an Ivy League school like Stanford or Harvard in that selectees clearly have the potential energy to excel, but the Thunderbird team experience is a catalyst that takes members' potential to a level they could not achieve on their own. Also, like the Dallas Cowboys, the USAF Thunderbirds are America's team. From a statistical standpoint I believe airmen stand a better shot at making the Thunderbirds than athletes do in making the Cowboys. Airmen should find comfort that theirs is a more attainable goal.

Studying all available references and attending multiple air shows will bring you closer to understanding this Thunderbird experience. But if you don't have the desire, opportunity, or the metal, to be selected and confirmed as a team member you might never gain a full understanding of our USAF Thunderbirds. In addition, much of their customs, courtesies, and history are rarely documented in books. The truth will set you free. General Merrill A. McPeak has chosen to raise the understanding of us mere mortals "on his dime" of service as Thunderbird demonstration pilot by the manner and content of his writing in "Hanger Flying."

The General puts what is likely documented in current Team manuals what during his tenure were only technical words and gestures his sponsors used during his checkout as Thunderbird Six. You just can't find this stuff laying around. It describes both the good and the bad characteristics of the Team, its culture, and its members--which is risky for an alumnus. Solo pilots know how to manage risk and I am awed by General McPeak's performance of this breathtaking maneuver in print."
-- Earl Heron, author of One Desert Jet Turner

Review of book "Creech Blue: Gen Bill Creech and the Reformation of the Tactical Air Forces" by Lt. Col. James C. Slife.
See page 115 of this pdf. This review gives worthy attention to this public domain book linked below.(review credit--Air and Space Power Journal, Spring 2005, by General Larry D. Welch, USAF retired.)

Creech Blue: Gen Bill Creech and the Reformation of the Tactical Air Forces by Lt. Col. James C. Slife (Full text PDF)
Some loved Bill Creech while others have personal issues with him. Most will agree that his policies fostered professionalism and made service through maintaining and flying fighters a pleasure. This public domain aviation book was published by Air University Press in cooperation with the College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education (CADRE) Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in 2004.

The author of One Desert Jet Turner served under W.L. Creech's command from 1980 through 1983 (within that bracket of time documented by the author of "Creech Blue.") His writing reflects a fighter mechanic's perception of the challenges General Creech surmounted through leadership and reorganization.

The Smell of Kerosene: A Test Pilot's Odyssey by Donald L. Mallick with Peter W. Merlin (Full text PDF)
Test Pilot Donald L. Mallick joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) as a research pilot in 1957. This public domain aviation book was published by NASA in 2003 and is fitting reference for everyone interested in fighter jet aviation. Mr. Mallick logged over 11,000 flight hours in 125 type of aircraft.

aeroflight Internet Aviation Bookshops Directory
Quoting aeroflight, "This page is intended to be a brief guide to obtaining aviation books from Internet bookshops. These days, both new and second-hand books can be purchased through reliable on-line bookshops in many countries of the world."

Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach by Daniel P. Raymer
"This is the book for people who want to hear from a design guru covering the art of design in as understandable terms as possible. Dr. Raymer essentially takes you to a blackboard in his study and lays out aviation for you! I'm loving this book." -- Earl Heron, author of One Desert Jet Turner

Silent Knights: Blowing the Whistle on Military Accidents and Their Cover-Ups by Alan E. Diehl
Quoting the rear cover flap of "Silent Knights," "...Alan E. Diehl, P.h.D.," "...has worked for the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Air Force, where he was senior safety scientist."
"So that others may live" is the credo that led Dr. Diehl to publish his evaluation of Department of Defense safety in 2002. This decision was a conscious career sacrifice.
2002 is coincidently the same year One Desert Jet Turner was published. "Silent Knights" reveals that lapses in accident report quality extend well beyond the confines of the USAF, and have prevailed for 20 years. The book's revelations are astounding. Dr. Diehl published an equally compelling book "Air Safety Investigators: Using Science to Save Lives - One Crash at a Time" in 2013.

This June 21, 2001, Time Magazine article documents the USAF's campaign to blame Technical Sergeant Thomas Mueller, a senior F-15 fighter mechanic, and two other airmen, for the crash of an F-15. Dr. Diehl, (above) the "safety expert" mentioned in this TIME article, details this case in a chapter of "Silent Knights."

Board Partly Clears Airman in F-15 Crash
This June 1998, news posting (see blue inset half-way down web page) on the Air Force Magazine online website reports an Air Force review board's conclusion after its review of how the late Technical Sergeant Thomas Mueller's case was handled.

"Blackbird Rising" and "Air Superiority Blue"
"If you enjoy details from behind the scenes heavily laden with concept explanation--these are two books for you. "Blackbird Rising: Birth of an Aviation Legend" by Byrnes and Hurley chronicles the Area 51 concept and hardware development of the SR-71. I don't think reading the SR-71 flight manual can be as captivating as the writing of these engineers who were privileged to refine this sled for crews to fly into and out of breathable airspace.

The flight manual might describe the steps to command the engine's spike, but there is nothing like a description of Spike science coupled with first-hand descriptions of how spike malfunctions manifested themselves in flight performance--using only words. The authors also describe the challenge to contain details while this program was still "black."

"Air Superiority Blue: The F-15 Story," was written by the same engineer/Air Force officer/pilot [Donn regrettably past away in 2012]who co-authored "Blackbird Rising" with the late Kenneth D. Hurley. I consider it almost unfair :-) that after being privileged to have his hands amongst those who made the SR-71 fit for operational use, Donn A. Byrnes was again blessed to serve as an engineering manager who guided the FX fighter project's metamorphosis into what was ultimately designated F-15."
-- Earl Heron, author of One Desert Jet Turner

"The Fighter Pilot's Handbook"
Author John Roberts describes his perspectives on the fighter pilot experience in a holistic manner. It is filled with feelings, and explains basics as well as his metamorphosis as a fighter pilot and a person.

"When Thunder Rolled" and "Palace Cobra" were written by Ed Rasimus, Fighter Pilot.

-- Quoting Earl Heron, Fighter Mechanic, and author of One Desert Jet Turner:
"I picked up a lot about fighters while on the line in the '80s, both from fighter pilots themselves, and from independent reading that gave me a limited perspective of what these aviators engaged in when they drove my jet out of its parking space. But the pilots were understandably rushing most of the time, which limited my ability to learn from them. Also, most books were sugarcoated. Ed's books are coated in personal warmth, not sugar. In these two works, Ed Rasimus filled in many pieces missing in my mind regarding his seat time in the F-105 Thunderchief, and F-4 Phantom, respectively.

"When Thunder Rolled," has given depth to what was previously limited by my imagination of how the Thunderchief might have been employed. I admired the '105. A silver one was parked on static display outside my 3703 basic-training squadron at Lackland AFB. I later saw and heard the Thud during its final active flight and departure celebration while attending maintenance training at George AFB, Victorville, CA. I didn't fully understand the jet's relevance then, but I'm proud to say that I do now."

"Palace Cobra" continues Rasimus's unvarnished description of climbing into "the seat" in his era. As an F-4 crew chief reading this book in retrospective, I learned many details such as the purpose for the two yellow arrows, and green donut lights to the left of the gun-sight combining glass. I previously had a dim view of the jet in light of my later joy maintaining the F-16, but developed a deeper appreciation for the Phantom after reading what Rasimus had to say."

Cold War Links

The Harvard Project on Cold War Studies
The Harvard Project on Cold War Studies promotes archival research in former East-bloc countries and seeks to expand and enrich what is known about Cold War events and themes. More importantly, it encourages scholars and students to use their research on Cold War topics to illuminate current theoretical debates about international and domestic politics.

Fighter/Reconnaissance Airframes

F22 Raptor
"F-22 Raptor has ALL the information on the F-22, America's new fighter. Downloads, games, polls, opinions, interactive tools, and MUCH more are here."
Quoting webmaster Paul R. Kucher:
"SR-71 Online is an Online Aircraft Museum, home to more than a thousand images on modern military aviation (over 600 of which are of the Lockheed Blackbirds) and fact sheets on more than a dozen military airplanes. Moreover, this site has a Blackbird Archive, an in-depth look at the A-12, YF-12, and SR-71. It is also home to the SR-71 Flight Manual, a more than thousand page document now presented online for the first time."

SR-71 Blackbirds
Leyland Haynes' relationship with the Lockheed SR-71 that spanned five/twenty years of his USAF documented in this website. The site also includes news, , and information--all regarding the SR-71.
"The Ultimate F-16 Reference. Comprehensive information on every aspect of the F-16 Fighting Falcon." is a comprehensive site covering the the Aardvark. It includes history, specifications, outside contributors, and a bulletin board.

Code One: An Airpower Projection Magazine
"Code One Magazine is a quarterly publication of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. The magazine covers customer communities that operate military aircraft products of Lockheed Martin."

The magazine's coverage includes fighter jet maintenance and operations articles of a technical nature.

Jets continue to fly because of human attention. Mechanics behind the scenes sweat to make it happen and experience both the joy and tradgedy of fighter jet operations firsthand. What is it really like for these "jet turners"? Order your copy of One Desert Jet Turner today!

Aviation Link Sites/Aviation Search Engines

MILAVIA Military Aviation
Aircraft and Air Force directories with information, specifications, history, picture galleries, and related

The Website for aviation enthusiasts

Best Aviation - Aviation Education Online
Find your flight school or aviation school today! Over 1100 flight schools, flight attendant, aircraft mechanic, pilot training, and aviation colleges world wide!

The 'AirNet' Website
"Welcome to the The World's most popular dedicated aviation site ... Now over one million visitors!"
This website's header captures its essence well:
"The Internet's Aviation Magazine & News Service"
"Now Over 130,000 Subscribers"
"Your link to the world of aviation..."

Thirty Thousand Feet - Aviation Directory
"THIRTY THOUSAND FEET is an aviation directory with thousands of to aviation web pages, aviation news, FAQs, and other sources of commercial, military, and general aviation information."

GLOBEMASTER US Military Aviation Database
This information server contains all active aircraft operating units and air bases of the US forces around the world, including tail codes, maps, aircraft fact sheets and official .
Aviation Search Engine

Aviation Communications:
Welcome to Aviation Communications, for all your aviation needs! Aviation Communications, has been serving the aviation community for over seven years! Feel free to browse our website and enjoy aviation discussion from all over the world.

Fighter Jet Flights/Fighter Flight Training

"How To Become A Fighter Pilot In The Air Force, Navy, or Marines"
Quoting their website, "Fighter Pilot Power Pack teaches you how to become a fighter pilot in the Air Force, Navy, or Marines. This step by step program was developed by one of Americas top Fighter Pilots, Ed T. Rush."
Jets Press came across this "Fighter Pilot" website recently. We have not reviewed the materials yet, but the website's sales literature gives us a strong indication that anybody who desires to be a fighter pilot should scrutinize the "Fighter Pilot Power Pack" for purchase. The "Power Pack" could be considered the comprehensive summary an "Uncle" fighter pilot prepared for his niece or nephew to maximize their chances for success at gaining a fighter pilot training slot, and later succeeding in training. Like everything in flight training, there are checklists that emphasize sequences. Ed emphasizes that the first thing you should do, even before speaking with an armed forces recruiter, is read the fighter pilot power pack web page.

Update-(A becomefighterpilot representative respectfully declined author Earl Heron's offer to personally watch the Fighter Pilot Power Pack package to produce an independent review.)
"Fly legendary MiGs and Sukhoi Fighter Jets in the Moscow skies! We are the only Company offering real-time ordering with immediate online pricing. FlyMiG.Com is an Official Representative of Zhukovsky Airbase."

Fighter Jet Flight Simulation
Celebrating a Century of Aviation

The Ultimate Combat Simulation Resource
The Ultimate Resource for Combat Simulation and Strategy Gamers! If you love personal computer-based combat simulation and strategy games, COMBATSIM.COM has it all: discussion forums, news, interviews, previews, reviews, add-ons and patch downloads, release dates and more."

Many mechanics have had prolific careers in fighter or test operations and then faded away, their contributions undocumented. This book marks a new day. One Desert Jet Turner is a frank accounting of what goes on backstage in the world of fighter jet aircraft. We look forward to the books of other mechanics. Order your copy of One Desert Jet Turner today!

Aviation Photography
AIRSHOW ACTION Photo Gallery by Peter Steerhouer


Aviation Nation
Aviation Nation Air and Space Expo 2022
November 4-6, 2022.
Refer to this Nellis AFB website for general guidelines until 2022 information becomes available. "Aviation Nation has been called one of the most diverse, entertaining and well run air shows in America. It is the premier air show of the Air Force and one of the largest aviation events in North America."

One Desert Jet Turner could be considered the ultimate program (unofficial) to the Aviation Nation Nellis AFB Las Vegas Air Show, as it provides a backstage view of Nellis AFB as written by a resident F-16 fighter jet mechanic.

Red Tails, the movie written by John Ridley and directed by Anthony Hemmingway
-- Quoting Earl Heron, Fighter Mechanic, and author of One Desert Jet Turner:
"Red Tails is right on target.
I'm a black man who served as a USAF fighter mechanic and transport-cockpit-crew member during the Cold war. I watched Red Tails twice yesterday, January 22, 2012, catching it at one theatre in NY at 7:30 PM before rushing to a 10:00 PM showing at another theater. I wanted to fully appreciate director Anthony Hemmingway's presentation of John Ridley's story. The movie has inspired me to educate myself fully on the facts behind this fictional film.

This was a Historically Black Flying Unit (HBFU) experience that I hadn't enjoyed before. I've previously seen presentations of blacks attempting to fit in while serving alongside reluctant peers, or with a culturally benign presentation of their personal experience. Blackness was a side note. In contrast, Red Tails was a complete recognition of the patriotism, service, and aerial skill demonstrated by the Tuskegee Airmen. The film also illustrates character depth by revealing the culture, strengths, weaknesses, and insecurities many Tuskegee Airmen contended with as they served. The presentations of flight maneuvers and fighting were technically convincing, and exciting.

I felt proud when the 332 Fighter Group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation recognizing both the aerial skills of the pilots and the technical skills of the ground crews. I think this was the first public recognition of the service of a large group of black men I have witnessed and somewhat compensates for the insufficient recognition the airmen received in their time.

During one scene many pilots are attending a meeting. A fighter pilot expresses a previously suppressed frustration with the quality of missions the Tuskegee Airmen were being assigned. His squadron commander (Major Emanuelle Stance) carefully chose his words before responding. He let the group know that their boss (Colonel A.J. Bullard) was lobbying on their behalf in Washington at that very moment. He cautioned them not to expect segregation to be turned around in a day. He emphasized a status they appeared to be overlooking-
"Hold your heads up! YOU'RE FIGHTER PILOTS!" This was a skillfully presented illustration of fighter pilot leadership. In fact, the film is packed with examples of the leadership of Tuskegee Airmen.

Blacks are still waiting for a complete turnaround in 2012. No worries. I'm holding my head up. After all, like Coffee (Antwan 'Coffee' Coleman) in the film, I was a fighter mechanic."

Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
New IMAX Film review
Link to Seattle Post Intelligencer review of the recently released film about Nellis AFB Red Flag training exercises that more accurately portrays the ground support teams supporting fighter jet pilots than previous films about fighter pilot training and air combat.
The book One Desert Jet Turner, was written by a Nellis fighter jet mechanic and includes extensive coverage of the ground operations touched on in Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag.

Bethpage Air Show 2022
2022 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach
Memorial Day Weekend May 28-29, 2022.
"We are thrilled to have the United States Navy Blue Angels back as our headliners, as well as many other incredible performers”

The Air demonstrations will take place above Jones Beach while static displays can be enjoyed not far from the American Airpower Museum. You also might be interested in the unrelated but just as compelling New York City Fleet Week 2022 .

One Desert Jet Turner was written by a native New Yorker regarding his travel from Queens to the Western United States and beyond to maintain and fly the class of high performance aircraft you will see at this airshow. This book enables you to feel this life experience from a fighter jet mechanic's perspective.

Racing in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS)
For auto racing fans, LVMS is located adjacent to Nellis AFB. Quoting their website, "With 1,600 acres in the northeast portion of the Las Vegas Valley, the "Diamond in the Desert" has been deemed the most remarkable race complex in the world. Sports Illustrated called it the Racing Capital of the West."

Auto racing fans interested in what's happening in the fighter aircraft "pits" on Nellis AFB will find answers in One Desert Jet Turner.

Area 51/Dreamland/The Ranch/Indian Springs Links

If you would like to hear from people who were there "back in the day" when the U-2 and SR-71 was developed, read "Me and U2: My Affair with Dragon Lady" by TSgt. Glenn R. Chapman, USAF (Retired) and Blackbird Rising by Byrnes and Hurley (reviewed/linked above).

An Airman's Odyssey: An Air Force Memoir by Richard Rowley
Richard Rowley's "An Airman's Odyssey" is a well written quick read. Not just because it's 156-pages short, but also because Chapter One smoothly flows into Chapter Twenty One. Boiling down a career such as Richard's to the poignant moments the general public can appreciate is a difficult project. My compliments on the fruit that was born from that labor.
If you care to know how an average American feels as he transitions from civilian to USAF electronics technician working in a confidential program (the F-117 Stealth Fighter), you want to own this book. [This] Airmen's Odyssey is about feelings more than nuts and bolts. The world can now know how it felt to live and work in Dreamland after the F-117 became operational (1984-1989)--a place many enthusiasts went to extraordinary, mostly unsuccessful lengths to pry their eyes into.
With his before-, during-, and after-Area 51 contrasts Richard reinforces a reality I have begun to grasp. Much of how a person's career progresses revolve around being a competent professional being in the right place at the right time. If one has these attributes, the stars might align and result in your career being as memorable as his. deny ignorance
Conspiracy related news and discusion. Main topics include government cover-ups, freemasons, illuminati, aliens, ufo's, secret societies, politics, current events, science, future technologies, and the war on terrorism among others.

AREA 51:An Uncensored History of America's TOP SECRET Military Base by Annie Jacobsen
Annie Jacobsen's comprehensive, controversial explanation of the mystery and geography the world knows as Area 51.

After the Jets Crashed
English professor and retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Bill McCarron's essay that describes his privilege to view the remains of the USAF Thunderbirds "Diamond" T-38 accident aircraft lost during practice in January, 1982 at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field (located near Nellis Air Force Base). His writing captivates the emotional and culturally accurate reaction felt by most in the Air Force community when they learned of the crash, one of the greatest tragedies in the history of fighter jet operations. One Desert Jet Turner includes a thoughtful analysis of the investigation of this flight mishap.

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