Tag Archives: Germany

Daedalian-FASF Members Get Scoop From New WEAM CEO

Mike Epp, WEAM CEO

Mike Epp, at left, is the new Director of the War Eagles Air Museum (WEAM) at nearby Santa Teresa International Jet-Port.  When long-time FASF member Robert “Bob” Dockendorf retired last year we all wondered who would fill his large shoes as Director of the museum.  The mystery is now over: It is Mike Epp.  Mike was the guest presenter at last week’s monthly meeting of Daedalian Flight 24 in El Paso, Texas.

Still showing a less than average turnout as the result of the long shut-down from the pandemic, Mike still had a good sized Daedalian group assembled to witness his show, as the following photos reveal (click on any photo to see in full resolution):

L to R: Larry Spradlin and Mike Epp pose for our photographer as the Daedalians and guests arrive.

L to R above: Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet, Col. Bob Pitt (back to camera), Larry Spradlin, Julie Pitt. guest Mary Barnes, and Colonel Melissa Fisher.

L to R: Mike Epp in discussion with an old friend, Flight Treasurer, Virg Hemphill

L to R: Colonels Mario Campos, previous Flight Captain, and Melissa Fisher.

L to R: Jerry Dixon, Col. Mario Campos, Larry Spradlin, Virg Hemphill (his back) Mike Epp, Ulla Rice and Pete Brandon.  Flight Captain, Col. Alan Fisher is at podium getting ready to call the meeting to order.

L to R: Col. Fisher, Roger Springstead, Col. Fisher, Mary Barnes, Charlie Overstreet, Julie Pitt with Col. Pitt giving his Flight Adjutant’s report.

Colonel Alan Fisher asks Charlie Overstreet, a long-time Docent at the WEAM, to introduce Mike Epp.

                                Charlie Overstreet introducing the meeting’s speaker, Mike Epp.

                                                              Charlie describing Mike’s background.

Presenter Mike Epp starts his show.

            Mike proceeds to describe the WEAM and its plans for the future, with F-51 Fighter of WWII fame on screen.

L to R: Mike, Alan Fisher, Charlie Overstreet, Melissa Fisher, Mayre Sue Overstreet, Col. Bob and Julie Pitt, and Roger Springstead.

  L to R: Mike explains the antique car collection, also a feature of his WEAM as Fishers listen.

L to R: Mike Epp, Julie Pitt (back to camera) Melissa and Alan Fisher, Col. Bob Pitt, Charlie and Mayre Sue Overstreet.  On screen is one of the WEAM displays, a Cessna T-37 jet trainer.

 Mike describes some of the museum’s most unique aircraft, such as the Russian MIG fighter depicted on the screen.

Mike tells the audience of his career in aviation, and how it began at an early age.  After High School he joined the Army and served as an Avionics Technician in Germany.  After four years service in the Army, he used the GI Bill to earn his degree to become licensed as an Aircraft and Powerplant (A&P) specialist, a skill he used in his much loved General Aviation and in its Corporate Aviation world.  In 1989 he took a position with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as an A&P mechanic and as an Avionics Technician, where he was stationed in South America.  After five years in that capacity, he left the Agency to join the Border Patrol as an Officer in San Diego, CA.  After three years with the Border Patrol, he switched back to the DEA again, but his time as an Agent in his much beloved El Paso, Texas.  In 2014 he retired from the Agency and became a volunteer Docent at the WEAM, and ultimately, after seven years, its Director.

L to R: Flight Captain, Col. Fisher listens to questions asked of the Director by Charlie Overstreet as his wife, Mayre Sue listens.

The Daedalians and guests listen intently as Mike brings his presentation to a close.

A very pleased Mike Epp gratefully accepts Colonel Fisher’s Daedalian gift as token of appreciation for his time and effort.

After the successful and informative presentation, Mike and Col. Fisher pose for our Photographer.

 

El Paso Daedalians Have NMSU AFROTC Cadets to Luncheon

This past Wednesday, at El Paso’s Fort Bliss golf club, Daedalian Flight 24 entertained some of the upper class AFROTC Cadets from New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) Detachment 505.

This gave the Cadets a good chance to get to know an active duty Air Force pilot, the luncheon’s presenter, along with a number of Daedalian former USAF, Navy and Marine aviators, as well.

Many of the Daedalians, all of whom are long time FASF members, also entered the USAF from ROTC units.  The guest visit was arranged by FASF member, Air Force Academy graduate, and Daedalian Flight Commander, Colonel Alan Fisher. 

Uniquely enough, well over twenty years earlier, Col. Fisher had been the Air Force Commander of these Cadet’s own AFROTC Detachment 505 at NMSU.

The guest speaker, Major Max Weaver, USAF, is from Arizona. He was raised in a family that valued service; his father served in the US Army and both his parents were police officers. In high school Maj Weaver joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) which gave him his first actual flight experience flying in CAP unit Cessna 172s. After High School, he majored in Foreign Area Studies at the Air Force Academy and spent a semester abroad in Nanjing, China where he learned their Mandarin dialect. He graduated with honors and was commissioned in 2011.

Next he attended joint Undergraduate Pilot Training with the Navy at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, flying the Texan T-6B II.  See below photo.

U. S. Navy T-6 III Trainer

Maj. Weaver earned his wings in the T-1 “Jayhawk” at Vance AFB in 2013.  Photo below:

USAF Multi-engine Trainer, Beechcraft T-1 Jayhawk

His first post flight training assignment was flying the C-17 Globemaster at McChord AFB, Washington.  He accrued over 1,000 hours in the C-17 and saw duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, Germany, Japan, and many other countries delivering mission critical cargo and supporting Presidential operations.  Globemaster III photo below.

McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III

In 2016 he began training on the MQ-9 “Reaper” at Holloman AFB, NM. His next assignment was to Ellsworth AFB, SD where he flew the Reaper Drone a total of 1,100 hours. These Close Air Support missions were flown in Iraq and Afghanistan to support ground forces fighting ISIS in the liberation of Raqqa and other territories.  Reaper photos below.

he USAF MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV – or Drone)

The Reaper has also been found useful in fighting forest fires.

As can only be experienced as a UAV or Drone pilot, Major Weaver flew all of these combat missions from a safe haven at an Air Force Base in the continental U.S. In 2020 he was transferred to Holloman AFB as an MQ-9 instructor pilot. He currently serves in that capacity and also as a Wing Flying Safety Officer while instructing students in the Air Force’s largest MQ-9 formal training program.

In his presentation to the Daedalians and guest AFROTC Cadets, he used the projector screen to show us some of the aircraft in which he accumulated his flight experience . . . including the Reaper.

Here, below, are some of the photos from Wednesday’s event.  To see them in full high resolution simply click on the photos:

                               Colonel Fisher, Daedalian Flight Commander, greets arriving members and guests.

L to R: Cadets Preston Kaplan and Patrick Sambrano waiting be be introduced.

L to R: Colonel Mario Campos, Cadets Sukarno, Malone, Baca, Soliz, Kaplan and Sambrano.

L to R: Mayre Sue Overstreet, with Col. Bob Pitt, Larry Spradlin, and Colonel Mario Campos

L to R: Charlie Overstreet, his brother, Lane (a former AF fighter & bomber pilot, PAA pilot), and Roger Springstead

L to R: Pete Brandon pours water for Colonel Pitt, whose head of hair is at right.

L to R: Cadet Dzaki Sukarno and USAF Pilot to be, Cadet Joshua Soliz

Roger Springstead, Lane Overstreet, Virg Hemphill, Jerry Dixon, Charlie Overstreet, Cadets Sukarno, Soliz and Mayre Overstreet

Flight 24 Captain Colonel Alan Fisher opens the meeting

USAF Cadet Dzaki Sukarno explained his Cadet status and USAF intentions.

L to R: Mayre, Charlie and Lane Overstreet, Cadet Soliz, Roger Springstead Virg Hemphill and Cadet Sukarno

L to R:  Cadet Kaplan and Larry Spradlin listen to Cadet Sambrano speaking – while Shelly Schlick serves Larry

                 Major Weaver puts his beloved C-17 Globemaster III on screen to describe his experiences piloting it

Next Major Weaver  showed slides of what it looked like from a Tanker aircraft while refueling the C-17

                Daedalians and guests listen intently as Major Weaver related his USAF career path to date

After his presentation, Colonel Fisher (R) presented Major Weaver (L) with a token of our appreciation for his talk

FASF Aviation News Scout and Daedalian, Virg Hemphill (R) engaged in USAF banter with Major Weaver (L)

Cadets posed with Major Weaver after the luncheon . . . L to R: Kameron Baca, Patrick Sambrano, Joshua Soliz, Maj. Max Weaver, Dzaki Sukarno, Preston Kaplan and Daniel Malone.

VIDEOS: Basic Training in the new T6A USAF Jet Prop Trainer

Thanks to our friends at FIGHTER SWEEP for this short (1:15)  video (immediately under the static photo of the plane parked on the ramp) of the new USAF & Navy T-6A Texan II Jet-prop trainer at work plying the clouds. The Raytheon Aircraft-built Texan II is a single-turbo prop engined, two-seat primary trainer, used to teach basic flying skills to Air Force and Navy pilots. 

The aircraft is fully aerobatic and features a pressurized cockpit with an anti-G system, ejection seat and an advanced avionics package with sunlight-readable liquid crystal displays, or as they are more commonly known, a full “Glass Panel.” It is the military trainer version of Raytheon’s Beech/Pilatus PC-9 Mk II.This trainer was first featured on our site some four (4) years ago.  One of its early test pilots was none other than our own FASF Advisor, Patty Wagstaff of Florida, Air Show and International Aerobatic competition fame.

Texan II on Ramp at Vance AFB.

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And, immediately below, is another (4:15 long) video of the Texan II in action – Practicing formation and aerobatic work. The lead female pilot using the cockpit GoPro camcorder is Air Force pilot, Courtney McCallan.

And, below, another T6-Texan II training clip, 3:10 in length.

Below is another video, but this time of the original WWII – Korean Conflict Basic Air Force and Navy Trainer, the North American T6, which was designated the SNJ by the Navy.  The Canadians and British called it the “Harvard.” The Basic Trainer was conventionally powered.  This video is 5:26 in length.  This is the airplane in which your Editor did his basic training in the USAF.

Below is a 3:29 long video using another HD Go-Pro camcorder taking the cockpit view during airshow maneuvers in Germany.  Notice the control stick is the British type with a small ring at the top of the stick.  This is the kind of stick, called a “Spade Stick” found in both the Super-marine Spitfires and Hurricanes fighters that successfully fought the Germans during the Battle of Britain in WWII.

Below is the 3rd phase of flight training at Vance AFB – the class’ final video summary of their year training to be USAF Pilots.  The full video was class (student) produced. Show is 5:30 long.  Gives a good insight to what lies in store for USAF Pilot students in their first year of Pilot Training.  Includes typical student off hours recreation activities and finally the step up to flight training in the T-38 “Talon” aircraft.

T6 Texan in action.

Time to fly! Row of Texans at the ready.