Three Fly Last Heritage Flight

Two retired Air Force pilots and one civilian pilot who have been part of USAF’s annual Heritage Flight program since it began in 1997, flew their last Heritage Flight missions during the 2008 conference at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., earlier this month, according to a March 20 Air Combat Command release. Retired Maj. Gen. William A. Anders flew then-Chief of Staff Gen. Ronald Fogleman in a P-51 Mustang in 1997 as part of USAF’s 50th anniversary celebration, sparking the start of the Heritage Flight program, in which aircraft of days gone by are flown in formation with some of today’s USAF aircraft at air shows around the country. The annual conference at Davis-Monthan provides a training session for the upcoming demonstration season, and this year included 27 different aircraft, from the P-40 to the F-22. Retired Brig. Gen. Regis F.A. Urschler said the Heritage Flight program “has been one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences of my aviation career. The other original Heritage pilot to end his program tenure, Charles R. Hall, said, “It’s a wonderful program, and it provides a small service to our country that I’m very proud of.” For Anders, the program was “a good way for me to pay back my parent service that has been really good to me through all the years.” (Air Combat Command 2008 demonstration schedules, click on the shields; more images and video clip of the Davis-Monthan training flights.)