Air Force marks 100,000th flight from Pueblo
By John Van Winkle, Air Force Academy Public Affairs
/ Published February 10, 2012
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Gateway to Air Force aviation launched its 100,000th sortie today.
That gateway is run by the 1st Flying Training Squadron at Pueblo Memorial Airport in Pueblo, Colo. The 1st FTS oversees Initial Flight Screening, for all of the Air Force's pilot, combat systems officers and remotely piloted aircraft candidates, It does this by working with Doss Aviation, which fulfills the $200 million, 10-year Air Force Initial Flight Screening contract.
The IFS program is the first step in the U.S. Air Force's undergraduate flying training process. IFS provides ground and flight training to students in preparation for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training, Undergraduate Combat Systems Officer Training, and Remotely Piloted Aircraft initial screening and training. The two primary objectives are to provide the U.S. Air Force an opportunity to screen aviation candidates prior to Undergraduate Flying Training entrance and begin the development of the student's aviation skills.
"Flying 100,000 sorties is a significant milestone for any flying operation. When you consider that most of the students that begin training here have never flown an airplane before, it makes it even more significant to reach this milestone with a very strong safety record," said Lt. Col. James Dirman, the 1st FTS director of operations.
The 1st FTS has a unique partnership with Doss Aviation to conduct initial flight screening for all Air Force pilots, CSOs and RPA candidates.
"The students learn in a world-class facility and are taught by highly experienced instructors. Many of the instructor pilots are former military aviators with thousands of hours instructing in a variety of aircraft," said Colonel Dirman.
Students learn to fly in the Diamond DA20-C1 aircraft.
"The DA20 has a remarkable safety record and is an excellent platform to teach basic flying skills. Students who graduate from the 1st FTS are extremely prepared for their follow-on training, whether it be pilot, CSO or RPA," added Colonel Dirman.
The 1st Flying Training Squadron welcomed its 100th class to Introductory Flight Training on Wednesday.