Maj. Steve Nester, an A-10 pilot with Air Force Reserve Command’s 303rd Fighter Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Mo., was heading from Whiteman to Springfield, Mo., on a routine training mission on March 11 when he got word that an inexperienced civilian pilot flying in a single-engine airplane nearby was in trouble and literally lost in the clouds. Nester immediately contacted the pilot and began assisting him, taking over for two other A-10 pilots who had been in the air at the time and had been helping. With Nester’s guidance, the civilian pilot was able to accurately line up to approach a runway in Springfield while still above the clouds. He eventually landed safely. “It was really our formation-flying training and situational awareness that made it easier for us to help him down,” said Nester in explaining the Warthog pilots’ assistance. (Whiteman report by SrA. Danielle Wolf)
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.