Friday, March 25, 2011
A-10 Thunderbolt: Highlight at Wings Over the Red Fly-In
Lt. Col. James Marks, commander, 917th Operations Support Flight, and Master Sgt. Edward Fairchild, dedicated crew chief, answer questions about the A-10 Thunderbolt at the "Wings Over The Red Fly-In and Airport Open House" hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Associate, Chapter 343 at the Shreveport Downtown Airport in Shreveport, La., March 19, 2011. More than 24 static displays were available for visitors to view at the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston) Hi-res
Note: On display is A-10C 78-0582, nicknamed BOYLESS BAILEY, from the 47th Fighter Squadron.
by Tech. Sgt. Jeff Walston
307th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
3/24/2011 - Barksdale AFB, La. -- An A-10 Thunderbolt was a highlight of the more than 24 static displays at the "Wings Over The Red Fly-In and Airport Open House" hosted by the Experimental Aircraft Associate, Chapter 343 at the Shreveport Downtown Airport in Shreveport, La., March 19, 2011.
The A-10 from the 917th Fighter Group at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., stood out among the experimental and vintage aircraft on display. Lt. Col. James Marks, commander, 917th Operations Support Flight and Master Sgt. Edward Fairchild, dedicated crew chief, 917th FG, were on hand to explain the capabilities of the aircraft to the visitors and other pilots there for the event.
"As pilots, we share this airspace, and we have a good working relationship. It's always a good thing when we can talk to other pilots in the area about what we do at Barksdale," said Colonel Marks. "We want pilots to know what we are doing out here as military aviators, so we can avoid mishaps."
During the open house, Marion Cole, who is an air show legend, was presented an award for a life time of flying. Often described as "the best pilot you've never heard of," Mr. Cole had his commercial and instructor rating by the age of 18, and soon joined the Navy's Reserve program. He started flying air shows in 1946. Marion Cole has logged more than 30,000 hours flying.
David H. Leedom, who is the son of Lt. Col. David Leedom, commander, 93rd Bomb Squadron, completed his initial solo with Marion Cole ten years ago when he was only 16 years old.
The "Wings Over The Red Fly-In and Airport Open House" also featured six general aviation aircraft and pilots who flew Young Eagles aviation students on short flights around the Downtown Airport area. The EAA Young Eagles program was created to welcome young people into the world of aviation. The experience is designed to give the participants a new perspective on the world and life in general.
The Shreveport Downtown Airport was the original air carrier airport in Shreveport, La., dating back to 1931.The same year, the airport received its first commercial airline when Delta Air lines chose a route through Shreveport as part of its initial flight schedule. The route consisted of Dallas to Shreveport and on to Monroe, La., and to Jackson, Miss.
A free hamburger lunch was provided by the EAA for pilots and support personnel of the general aviation aircraft that were flown in for the event. Millen Air also provided 50 gallons of free fuel to the general aviation aircraft that was flown in from the farthest distance away.