Warthogs from Heaven

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)