Add another footnote to the problems with US military aviation….
Reporting by Lucas Tomlinson
The Air Force announced Wednesday it had relieved the commander of the service’s flight demonstration team following two crashes since the summer of 2016.
The first crash occurred during the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony and the traditional fly-by from the Thunderbirds F-16 jets, not long after passing over then-President Obama and the graduating cadets and their families. One of the F-16s crashed after the single engine on the jet shut down (not ran out of fuel as many speculated at the time).
A year later, a Thunderbirds pilot and passenger were hospitalized following a crash while landing at the Dayton International Airport.
The US Air Force today is smaller than it has ever been in its history. In 1991, the service had 8,600 aircraft in 134 squadrons. Today, 5,500 aircraft in 55 squadrons.
The average age of an Air Force plane is 27 years old. The service is roughly 2,000 pilots short today, according to the secretary of the Air Force.
The service is also running low on bombs. “When it comes to munitions, we are stretched,” said Heather Wilson, secretary of the Air Force recently.
Fox News has reported extensively about the problems facing all of US military aviation, including:
-70% of US Marine Corps jets can’t fly
-half US Air Force B-1 and B-2 bombers can’t fly
-half the Navy’s 542 F-18 Super Hornets can’t fly