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Heritage Flight Training Course takes off in the skies above Tucson

Posted at 6:06 PM, Mar 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-01 20:06:32-05

They’re very hard to miss — modern jets flying side-by-side with vintage aircraft.

You likely saw them, and heard them, today zipping through the skies around Tucson.

It’s the annual Heritage Flight Training Course at Davis-Monthan.

The Air Force Heritage Flight matches modern fighters with vintage warbirds. They’re practicing for the upcoming air show season.

A pair of P-51 Mustangs flew in formation today with an F-35 Lightning II.

D-M’s A-10 demo team also took to the skies along with an F-16.

Modern fighter pilots have to carefully learn to fly next to the slower vintage planes.

Capt. Taylor Hiester, an F-16 demo team pilot, said it can be a challenge having two different airplanes in the sky with different levels of capability.

“But we have some of the best warbird pilots in the world that are training us up to make sure we can fly a safe and effective air show,” Capt. Hiester said.

He added that the pilots are grateful to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and to the people of Tucson.

“This is the best air space in the world to do this,” he said. “Beautiful skies, beautiful mountain ranges and calm winds.”