USN and USMC Instructor Pilots - February 23, 2002

We were honored to have a group of US Navy and Marine Instructor Pilots who are stationed at Corpus Christi, Texas, visit us at our home. They have been instructing pilot cadets at the Las Cruces airport since early January. We had met several of the instructors at the LC airport when they first arrived in Las Cruces and we invited them over to see our vehicles. So one evening they showed up when they were in the neighborhood visiting the father of one of the instructors.

L to R: Norm Waleke, USN Retired; Dr Joe Ford; CPT Al Solter, USMC; LT Sal Contreras, USN; CPT Tom McCauley, USMC; Unidentified Instructor; LT Dave Stavish, USN; LT Joe Ford, USN; LT Dave Wilson, USN; LT Steve Donskey, USN; Unidentified Instructor; CPT Jeff Sternberg, USMC with all the Kool Kats

In addition to the instructors that came over to the house, we met some others at the airport a few days later and got some pics of the plane that they train in. LCDR Jim Allen also flies the PROWLER EA-6B.

LCDR Allen, another Prowler enthusiast

T-34C Trainer

Norm says he'd rather fly closer to the ground

T-34C ready to go up

We go to the airport for breakfast several times a month. We just happened to be there on January 9th and we were able to get a picture of 'Fat Albert' just prior to its departure. It had flown in the day before, bringing the instructor pilots to Las Cruces for their two month stay for pilot cadet training.

Blue Angels' C-130 transport plane, the renowned "Fat Albert,"

Fat Albert approaching Las Cruces *

Instructor pilots on the tarmac

Inside the Adventure Aviation terminal

Fat Albert ready to take off
* Sun-News photo by Norm Dettlaff. All other photos by Pat Waleke
Click here for a related local newspaper article.

With some more good timing, we showed up at the airport on March 6th, met CDR Barfoot, the Commanding Officer of the training unit and also were able to get pictures of the helipcopter (HM-53E) that was going to take the remaining cadets and instructors back to Corpus Christi, that afternoon.

CDR Barfoot and Norm

Now that is a BIG helicopter !

Transportation home. It can carry about 50 passengers. (Overall length: 99 feet, height: 28 feet)


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