(COLORADO SPRINGS) — United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) cadets are scheduled to fly
over Weidner Field before the Switchbacks FC takes on New Mexico United Saturday evening on April 22 at 6 p.m.
Cadets will be flying four assigned aircrafts of the Air Education and Training Command’s 557th Flying Training Squadron as part of Military Night activities, according to a press release.
Below is the aircraft order, assigned aircrew and hometowns:
- Lead Aircraft: T-53A Kadet II (Cirrus SR-20 aircraft)
- Pilot, Lt. Col. Matthew J. Spitler, 557th FTS Commander, Denton, Texas
- Co-pilot, Cadet 1st Class Jacob A. Stenslie, Overland Park, Kansas
- Second Aircraft: T-41 Mescalero (Cessna 172 aircraft)
- Pilot, Cadet 1st Class Daniel A. Nesburg, Charlevoix, Michigan
- Co-pilot, Cadet 1st Class Trevor M. Anderson, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Safety observer, Cadet 1st Class Allie E. Dyer, Plano, Texas
- Third Aircraft: T-51 (Cessna 150 aircraft)
- Pilot, Cadet 1st Class Claire H. Melton, Bristol, Virginia
- Co-pilot, Cadet 1st Class Caden J. Stine, Frankfort, Indiana
- Fourth Aircraft: T-41 Mescalero (Cessna 172 aircraft)
- Pilot, Major Jake Jones, 557th FTS, Flying Team Assistant Director of Operations, Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Co-pilot, Cadet 1st Class Nathaniel K. Rexroad, Leesburg, Virginia
The flyover aims to raise community awareness for the upcoming USAFA Class of 2023 graduation. Cadets conducting the flyover are all scheduled to commission into the U.S. Air Force during graduation ceremonies slated for June 1 in Falcon Stadium, per USAFA.
Cadets participating in the flyover start U.S. Air Force pilot training after graduation with the exception of one cadet who will train as an intelligence officer.
The 557th FTS at USAFA’s Davis Airfield leads an Airmanship program introducing cadets to powered flight. The squadron conducts more than 12,600 training and competition flying hours annually, said USAFA. Powered Flight Airmanship Courses provide cadets an opportunity to solo in a T-53 Kadet II, a light, general aviation aircraft.
Training includes precision landings, cross-country navigation, instrument flying and more. Powered Flight course graduates have the potential to earn their FAA Private Pilot Certificate and are encouraged to try out for the award-winning Cadet Precision Flying Team, per USAFA. The squadron operates 24 T-53 Kadet IIs, four T-41 Mescaleros, and three T-51 aircrafts.
In the event of poor weather, maintenance concerns, or competing mission requirements, the flyover could be canceled, according to USAFA.