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The Captain Of Air Force One  
User currently onlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5066 posts, RR: 15
Posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14552 times:

Probably most people who aspire to be pilots want to see themselves flying up high in a 747, but isn't AF1 the "ultimate 747"? How do you get to be a pilot for AF1? Are they chosen from Air Force pilots? How do Air Force pilots get practice on the type? I know they have "heavies" such as the KC10 in the Air Force fleet but I dont think there are other 747s. How would you go from being a regular Air force flyer to a 747? That would be probably the ultimate flying job in my opinion, to be in command of the worlds most sophisticated plane carrying the world's most powerful leader.

In the articles I read about President Bush's trip they mention Capt. Tillman and also the fact that Bush was riding jumpseat for the landing, but they never mention the F/O and F/E.

bruce


Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
51 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVimanav From India, joined Jul 2003, 1524 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14486 times:

In the Nat Geo programme the other day, I heard them say that the Commander of AF1 is a Top Gun...

rgds//Vimanav



Sarfaroshi kii tamannaa ab hamaare dil mein hai, Dekhnaa hai zor kitnaa baazu-e-qaatil mein hai
User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12593 posts, RR: 34
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14472 times:

The pilot of AF1 is either a Brig General or a colonel; all crewmembers would be highly experienced, "top of the class" fliers, no doubt carefully vetted as well.

I don't know where they take them from (i.e. what part of the air force) but I would imagine some come from the E4B fleet at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, where they would have plenty of 747 experience. Others would come from other transport fleets, such as KC10s/KC135s.


User currently offlineFutureualpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2608 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 14409 times:

I believe they originally fly tranbsports, then they transfer top one squadron where they are then picked from that squadron to fly AF1.

Im not sure though but I remember hearing something like that.



Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8650 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14251 times:

Lets not associate AF1 with the 747. AF1 is whatever airplane the president is in, not necessarily the 747. So I'd say they come from all different backgrounds  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14184 times:

How do Air Force pilots get practice on the type?

I believe that USAF has a contract that gives them 747 and 757 simulator time at the United Airlines training facility in Denver.


User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14146 times:

Most current and past pilots of AF1 have previous 747 experience with the E-4 (Offutt is correct)... Be aware that they also do their own training using some airline simulators in the USA, but I believe I am not at liberty to say where... I do not think that "Top Gun" is much preparation to handle a 747... Would that be nice, fly a 747 the same way as a FA-18...
xxx
In the old days of the AF1 when they were 707, pilots trained in Kansas City 707 simulators with TWA back then... I understand they later went to the AA Academy at DFW for simulator training. I used to know a AF1 pilot in the days of President Reagan, then a 707...
xxx
The two AF1 airplanes are essentially same as the 747-200, but there are quite a few differences as well... The E-4s have a lot of differences with civilian 747 (i.e. electrical system) ... less so with AF1 airplanes...
xxx
I realise your interest in AF1 but many of you mix opinions and politics... and fortunately, for me, that is outside of my aviation interest. Flying this aircraft with the President aboard is always a special mission, and many of these flights are not "advertized"... Besides, these airplanes fly occasionally without the President aboard, therefore their call sign is not "Air Force One"...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper


User currently offlinePIA777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1738 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 14060 times:

They pick the best of the best out of the Air Force to fly AF1. Probably someone who has been in the Air Force for a long time and has ALOT of experience.

-PIA777



GO CUBS!!
User currently offlineHawkeye2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 14021 times:

This page gives the requirements and the selection process:

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/alf-tank/89th%20Airlift%20Wing/89AW.htm


User currently offlineRjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 13977 times:

I imagine there must be a hanful of pilots. The president hops all over the country, especially during election season. And they must have pilots on standby 24/7 in case the President needs to leave town fast.

User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8366 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 13935 times:

Calling the pilot in command a "Captain" on AF1 is quite an insult, actually. They're either generals or full colonels and come from the very top of the transport pilot pool. For fighter pilots, the Thunderbirds are the very top. For transport pilots, it doesn't get any better than AF1.


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 13856 times:

It didn't sound like the pilot of Air Force One had ever been to an airport like Heathrow before. That was from hearing the radio exchange between him and Heathrow Director last week on Bush's visit to London.

I guess that when they operate to most airports, the "skies are cleared" for them. Not so at Heathrow. AF1 had minimum separation from other arrivals, the only difference being that it landed on a different (parallel) runway, closer to it's final parking place.

When I saw the BBC live coverage they said "the skies around Heathrow have been cleared for this arrival" ... well the recording says otherwise.

Was very interesting to hear...


User currently offlineBucky707 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1028 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13754 times:

There are indeed a handful of pilots who fly AF1, as you have to have extra's for long missions, if someone is sick, etc. The title of Presidential Pilot usually goes to the commander of the Presidential Support Group. Currently he is a Lt Col.

User currently offlineAA717driver From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 1566 posts, RR: 13
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13717 times:

I believe you have to be in the SAM Squadron and from there(in a very rigorous and competitive process, I'd imagine) the 747 folks are selected...

When (other than in the past when a President was sneaking around with his mistress...Oops, I retract the statement Big grin) has the President flown on anything smaller than the 747?TC



FL450, M.85
User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13641 times:

Air Force 1 pilots rank generally as Lt.Col or Col., occasionally Major...
Generally the one flying the 747 are colonels...
Maybe the ones flying the Gulfstream or 757 are majors, could be captains...
Generals generally "do not fly" except special circumstances...
xxx
Captain is a rank/title used in the airlines.
Proper name would be "Commander" or "Aircraft Commander" for the position.
If the Navy had a 747 pilot assigned to fly 747, he could be a captain...
Captain in the Navy is the equivalent rank of a Colonel...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper



User currently offlineZona8 From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 128 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13523 times:

"has the President flown on anything smaller than the 747"

-Yes, he uses a 757 actually quite often.


User currently offlineRjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13471 times:

I believe that when he came to New York City after 9/11 he took the C-32.

User currently offlineJayspilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 13471 times:

I believe the 89th air wing which is the wing of the Air Force that is in charge of executive transport has several types of airplanes. They fly 747.737.757.707.GV.Lear35s. and still DC9's.

User currently offlineRjpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13426 times:

I know the Navy still has DC-9s. I don't think the 89th does though.

User currently offlineCgagn From Canada, joined Sep 2003, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13381 times:

I'm sure I read somewhere that AF1 is a -200 with the cockpit and engines of a -400. Is that correct?


Widebodies flown on: A330-300,A340-300,A380-800,747-400,767-200ER,767-300ER,777-200A,777-200ER,777-200LR,777-300ER
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13276 times:

In order to become part of the 89th Airlift Wing, 'THEY' call you...you DON'T call them. You need to be top's in your class, tops for your scores and reviews. From the Aircraft Commander of the VC-25 down to the mechanics that work on them, all are Best of the Best of the Best.


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently onlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5066 posts, RR: 15
Reply 21, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13275 times:

the website refered to by Hawkeye2 is excellent. among the prerequisites -

NO FIGHTERS OR BOMBERS

so i guess that eliminates the "top gun" folks

AIRLIFT OR TANKER MWS AIRCRAFT COMMANDER

here is where I think the commander of a KC10 could get a promotion......

2000 total hours minimum, 2500 highly desired

and this assignment to the 89th AW is a "special duty assignment with a four year controlled tour"

bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3152 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (11 years 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 13262 times:

To answer an above question, Clinton used the 757 all the time. A couple of his visits to STL utilized it. The Secret Service guys that come into my FBO when high ranking officials are in town say Bush doesn't like the 757 because it's too small. Of course some airports can't handle a 747's weight. Most cabinet members fly on the Air Force Gulfstreams.


DMI
User currently offlineMD11LuxuryLinr From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1385 posts, RR: 14
Reply 23, posted (11 years 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 13138 times:

..."I'm sure I read somewhere that AF1 is a -200 with the cockpit and engines of a -400. Is that correct? "..

The engines, yes, the cockpit, nope. I too have seen that Discovery Channel program. They showed the cockpit a couple times and it wasn't glass..



Caution wake turbulence, you are following a heavy jet.
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 13101 times:

B747skipper, did you fly the AF1 ?

rgds keesje


25 Jhooper : I kind of wonder myself why they exclude fighter and bomber types....
26 Post contains images B747Skipper : Hola Keesje - xxx No, I did not fly AF-1, but I flew the E-4Bs from Offut AB when I was in USAFR until 1991... The E-4 could be AF-1, if the President
27 Mirrodie : I have always known that any plane the President is on is called AIR FORCE ONE. BUt does that hold true for the Helicopters as well? One of my old Soc
28 B747-437B : BUt does that hold true for the Helicopters as well? The USMC helicopter that transports the President is termed "MARINE ONE".
29 Garnetpalmetto : To state again: The "owner" of the aircraft determines what it's called. When the president is onboard a USMC aircraft, the VH-3D, for instance it's t
30 NWA : No, its marine one. the airforce does not fly his heli.
31 AASilverbird : What is an aircraft called when the VP is travelling? Is it Air Force 2?
32 Garnetpalmetto : Correct, AASilverbird. Air Force Two is any USAF aircraft with the VP aboard. Just as Air Force One is usually the VC-25, Air Force Two is usually a V
33 USAFHummer : I wonder what would happen should a president ever fly in a civilian aircraft for whatever reason (eg Nixon on UA 55 in 1973)...no special callsign th
34 Garnetpalmetto : In a civilian aircraft, the special callsign is Exec One, I believe.
35 FA4UA : OK, so how does one become a flight attendant on any of these planes? They've gotta have them aboard! Are they Secret Service members who serve food t
36 Garnetpalmetto : If memory serves, in the case of Air Force One and Air Force Two, the "flight attendants" are generally USAF stewards who are generally NCOs and are a
37 JMChladek : With all the KC-135 Tankers, KC-10s and large transports in the USAF inventory, there are plenty of potential VC-25 pilots out there in the talent poo
38 NoelG : I guess that when they operate to most airports, the "skies are cleared" for them. AF1 flew into and out of MCO when I was there, FOX 35 said nothing
39 Ben : AF1 flew into and out of MCO when I was there, FOX 35 said nothing was permitted into the airspace around the time, but there were still aircraft on a
40 Elwood64151 : In the Nat Geo programme the other day, I heard them say that the Commander of AF1 is a Top Gun... I don't know who Nat Geo is, but he's wrong. First
41 Post contains links Garnetpalmetto : I stand by my assertion that it would be Exec One. The designator prior to "One" indicates who is operating the aircraft and, as a civilian airliner i
42 Wannabe : Back in 1996 (I think) I was visiting a relative who worked at the Pan Am training center in Miami. While there, I was introduced (and had lunch with)
43 Post contains images AA717driver : At altitude I believe AF1 is given normal separation. I've passed it a couple of times over the middle of the country. I know they don't use "econ" cr
44 Post contains images AirJamPanAm : FA4UA Garnetpalmetto is correct, I have a friend who flew with the Vice President. He was a NCO in the Air Force based at Andrews Air Force Base. Have
45 Na : Someone mentioned the National Geographic AF1 film(video). How is it? It´s quite costly to buy as a DVD here, same price as the latest cinema hits.
46 Likesplanes : Just what exactly is the "SAM" squadron? In the National Geographic show on flying the Presidential 747's, they mention about when Nixon took his last
47 JayDavis : What is the color scheme of those 747's that fly around OMA doing training missions? Any shots of them on this site? One time Dick Cheney came into DA
48 Garnetpalmetto : In this case, "SAM" would stand for "Special Air Mission."
49 Lindy : The "AF1" 747 was doing touch & go couple of times earlier this year at BWI. Rafal
50 Bruce : At any rate, that would have to be a "career topper" for a pilot er, Commander. You get to fly to every corner of the world with the POTUS not to ment
51 Tiger119 : Do the Air Force pilots that fly the VC-25s also fly other aircraft in the squadron or are they aircraft specific qualified?
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