The Fly-In

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Marc A. Garcia
  • 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

McConnell hosted an Air Education and Training Command Fly-In that allowed students in Undergraduate Pilot Training to further their understanding of the KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus missions in Air Mobility Command Nov.15, 2019, on the flightline.


Undergraduate pilots flew in on training aircraft from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and Columbus Air Force Base, South Carolina, flew in on multiple Raytheon T-1 Jayhawks and T-6 Texan IIs to participate in the event.


While touring the aircraft, the 42 undergraduate pilots had the opportunity to speak with McConnell air crews and maintainers about the importance of the relationship between the pilots and crew chiefs based on their experience with the aircraft.


“The relationship between the pilots and maintainers is crucial,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Albers, 350th Air Refueling Squadron pilot. “Good relations and communication allow issues on board to be resolved quicker.”

Opportunities like the AETC Fly-In provide students in UPT the knowledge needed to make educated career decisions on which aircraft to fly while in the operational Air Force. The exposure to the KC-135 and KC-46 allowed students to gain knowledge on the air refueling mission.


“I was able to look at two awesome aircrafts that I could potentially fly after UPT,” said 2nd Lt. ­­­­Tristyn Hanson, 71st Operation Support Squadron student pilot, Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. “There’s no telling what I want to fly but seeing the KC-46 and KC-135 definitely sparked my interest in the refueling mission.”