Last T-43 Aircraft Retired

The Air Force last week retired its final T-43A aircraft from service during a ceremony at Randolph AFB, Tex. USAF has used T-43s since 1973 as flying classrooms to train its navigators (now referred to as combat systems officers). “We have put more than 20,000 aviators through the training,” said Lt. Col. Pete Deitschel, commander of Randolph’s 562nd Flying Training Squadron. Marine Corps, Navy, and partner-nation student navigators have also trained in these flying classrooms during the past 37 years. The Air Force is moving its CSO training from Randolph to NAS Pensacola, Fla., where the student navigators will henceforth train in T-1 Jayhawks and T-6 Texan IIs. The T-43 retirement ceremony on Sept. 17 concluded with a final flyby of the T-43, which will be placed on static display at Randolph. (Randolph report by David W. Roberts)