by Pam Zubeck
If you live in the north end of town, you might hear more buzzing as the Air Force Academy steps up aviation training for cadets during the summer months.
The increased activity began in late May and lasts through the first week of August.
The Academy says in a press release:
All aviation programs, including the soaring, jump, and powered flight programs, are flying more to provide cadets a greater understanding of airmanship and leadership development.
Additionally, more flybys by fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters will raise the noise levels over local areas.
Hours of increased flying activity during the summer are 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. These hours will be reduced to 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. on August 4 when the Academy’s academic year begins.
Academy aircraft involved include the UV-18B, T-53A, T-41, T-51, T-52, and a variety of small, single engine Cessnas and Cub Masters.
So if this kind of noise bothers you, grab your earplugs, put a pillow over your head or move. It's part of preparing young Air Force officers and isn't going away.
Here's more about the latest plane the Academy has or soon will take delivery on:
The 557TH Flying Training Squadron will accept delivery of the T-53A in a ceremony here on Monday morning, June 20 at 9:57 a.m.
The aircraft will join the squadron’s primary aircraft to train Academy cadets as part of their powered flight program.
“The reason for this aircraft acquisition is to improve our powered flight program,” said Lt. Col. Brad Oliver, 557th FTS Director of Operations. “The aircraft we currently utilize are leased. The Air Force determined it was in our best interest to purchase and operate an Air force owned aircraft.
“The T-53A is a very modern aircraft based on the Cirrus 20 and has the latest avionics,” he said.
“Additionally, the aircraft comes equipped with an aircraft parachute, which provides an additional safety feature we do not currently possess.”
The T-53A is produced by Cirrus Aircraft at its Duluth, Minn., facility. The aircraft has a range of more than 600 nautical miles (690 statute miles) at a speed of 155 knots (approximately 178 mph). It is 26 feet long with a wing span of just over 38 feet. It will have seats for two occupants, a pilot and a training pilot.
The 557th FTS is assigned to the 306th Flying Training Group, a unit of Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, near San Antonio.