Specops pilots host ‘familiarization flights’ for Academy cadets

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Seth Stang
  • USAFA Public Affairs

Cadets got a high-altitude view of the Air Force Academy in a series of helicopter flights above Colorado Springs, April 24.

The flights, hosted by pilots from the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, were part of the Academy’s operations career field forums familiarizing cadets with aircraft and aircrews. 

“It was an incredible opportunity,” Cadet 4th Class Mark Lema said. “It really opened my eyes toward potentially becoming a helicopter pilot.”

Approximately 50 cadets flew in a UH-1 N helicopter, regularly used to support nuclear deterrence missions, or in the HH 60-G helicopter, often used in search and rescue operations.  

After their safety briefings at the Academy’s airfield, the cadets flew aboard a helicopter and were able to listen to the crew’s communications during the flight.

“It is amazing that we had the chance to get on the Huey and fly with it,” Cadet 3rd Class Chia-Hsiang Shen said. “Now I know more about what the UH-1 is capable of and their importance to Air Force Global Strike Command.”