They have been serving in this capacity since 1966, when it inherited the role from the 1254th Air Transport Wing. In 1992 Tillman was finally selected to be an Air Force One pilot, but he wasn’t authorized to fly the president until a year later. The pilots of Air Force One must have the most advanced of pilot training, with a background in the US Air Force. TLDR – Air Force One is piloted by two US Air Force pilots, known as the Presidential and Deputy Presidential Pilots.Although there is always a third pilot onboard, in case a crew member should become incapacitated. That is, there are at least three Scott Turners currently serving the U.S. Air Force. By the time Bush entered the White House, Tillman had become Chief pilot. This group operates within the 89th Airlift Wing. The pilots, who served under five of the United States' last nine presidents, say the movie is long on fantasy and short on reality. This Presidents Day, consider the past, present, and future of the airborne White House. Flying SAM 28000 and her sister are just like flying a regular jumbo jet. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The two iconic Boeing 747-200Bs are not the only jets operated by the 89th Airlift Wing. How Do Soldiers Not Fall Out of Helicopters? A VC-25 is a heavily modified Boeing 747 with the current planes being 747-200, There are plans to get new aircraft to replace the current Air Force One(s) by 2024 which are Boeing 747-8i's coming from bankrupt Russian airline Transaero. Read on to find out…. To do this, Tillman and his crew talked on a secure phone line to the FAA command center and Air Force One essentially had control of the airspace. ‘There was a fog of war’ he later recalled. Colonel James Swindal (SAM 26000) Typically, they hold the rank of a Lieutenant-Colonel or Colonel, a position which requires 22 years of service in the USAF, if not more. Operating from Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, each member has been hand selected for this division from elsewhere in the Air Force. Obama said the pilot looked the way the pilot of Air Force One should look, saying he was “out of central casting” and compared him to Sam Shepard in The Right Stuff. In its military budget proposal, the Pentagon revealed a new paint design for the exterior of Air Force One, which will replace the current blue and white scheme with a red, white and blue palette. This may seem unusual, but the British and Americans have been swapping personnel since 1971, with the aim of strengthening relationships on both sides of the pond. You can contact him (Air Force One pilot) at 89wg.pa[at]andrews.af.mil, the e … Air Force One includes a medical suite that can function as an operating room, and a doctor is permanently on board. There are multiple pllots who fly the aircraft and several backup pilots available for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. The callsign "Air Force One" has long represented the Air Force airplane on which the president of the United States flies. Colonel Mark W. Tillman (VC-25A) One of the staples of the Boeing 747-8i is its next-generation engines for General Electric that are more fuel-efficient than the aging engines on the current Air Force One aircraft. List of Presidential Pilots (minus the current one) - Presidents Truman > Obama: Check out the video below to find out about President Bush’s secret trip to Iraq in 2003. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Tift "Hank" Myers(The Independence) - Biography(Courtesy of the University of Georgia) Whilst ferrying VIPs, the pilots are most often seen in a classic navy blue MA-1 bomber jacket. TLDR – Air Force One is piloted by two US Air Force pilots, known as the Presidential and Deputy Presidential Pilots. Colonel William G. Draper (Columbine) Colonel Robert D. "Danny" Barr (VC-25A) Passengers were knocked to the floor and many wondered if they would even survive the ordeal. Served: President Richard Nixon(January 1969 to August 1974). A video crew from National Geographic Channel was on hand to witness the event. But crew do not always wear a uniform when flying the president. Each of the current Air Force One aircraft is equipped with classified security and defense systems, including measures to protect onboard electronics against the electromagnetic pulse of a nuclear explosion.A telecommunications centre is located in the upper level, and in the lower level is a cargo hold with a self-contained baggage-handling system. The Air Force awarded a $3.9 billion contract to Boeing in 2018, and the pair of modified 747s are expected to be handed over in 2024, the final year of Biden's term. Air Force One is possibly one of the most recognizable planes in the world, but who pilots it and does it take a special set of skills to fly the president? President George W. Bush(January 2001 to June 2001), 10. The unit is exceptionally busy, carrying out over 6,500 missions and logging nearly 12,000 flight hours each year. Served: President Dwight EisenhowerJanuary 1953 to January 1961, 2. 8. The pilots assigned to fly the president are part of the Presidential Airlift Group (PAG). President Trump has had a long and complicated history with Air Force One. Colonel Mark Tillman is a retired Air Force One pilot. Currently the US Air Force operates two Boeing VC-25A aircraft. All data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally. Served: April 1980 to January 1981 (Carter), But unbeknownst to the pilot, the MiGs were only there to escort the plane and no attack had ever been planned – they were just being friendly! Its pilots are very experienced, high ranking officers. But after designing rocket engines for the Air Force, Tillman realised that his future lay elsewhere and applied for pilot training. When flying President Nixon to visit Syria’s president, Hafez al-Assad, two Syrian MiG fighter jets appeared on either side of Air Force One. The 89th recently posted on their Facebook page what it takes to jump that final step to become one: In addition to being extremely accomplished airmen, these crew members will be privy to sensitive information and so must achieve a ‘Yankee White’ category one security clearance. 1. Served: President George W. Bush(June 2001 to January 2009), 11. Their fleet also includes 15 business jets used to transport members of congress and other VIPs. When an aircraft is operating as Air Force One, it would normally be flown by the designated high ranking USAF Officer, as a military flight. President Obama even had his own jacket with his name and ‘Air Force One’ embroidered on the front. The plane’s two food preparation galleys can feed 100 people at a time. Colonel Mark S. Donnelly (VC-25A) President-elect Barack Obama meets Colonel Scott Turner, his new Presidential Pilot, and flies an Air Force Boeing 757 jet from Chicago to Washington, DC for the inauguration on 1/20/09, arriving in Washington at 1900 hours. According to the 2020 military pay charts, a pilot flying Air Force One would make somewhere in the region of $134,124 USD per year. read more 6. Whilst carrying out his usual pre-flight checks for the return trip to Washington D.C., Tillman was called to the upper deck of the Boeing 747 to see live TV footage of the smoking World Trade Center. Colonel Francis W. Williams(The Independence) 14. There are several pilots usually allocated the roles of Presidential and Deputy Presidential pilot, who are rotated throughout the year to allow for leave and emergencies. Air Force One, though lacking in gold, boasts 4,000 square feet of interior space, with a fully equipped Situation Room and a "flying Oval Office." The Wing Commander will fly the President, his advisors and distinguished guests with the elite team of military aviators. Reporters were stating that a light plane had ‘accidentally crashed’ into the building, but Tillman thought otherwise. ), President-elect Obama and Col. Scott Turner - Jan. 4, 2009 Flying across the skies of Europe, Victoria lives her life both metaphorically and literally with her head in the clouds. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. (AFP/Getty Images), 12. With such tight security onboard Air Force One, you would expect that the pilots must be US nationals, and usually this is the case. Colonel Mark Tillman was the pilot flying Air Force One on the fateful day of 9/11. And on nearly all of those flights, Col. Mark Tillman, 51, was at the controls of Air Force One. Under Obama, the plane was a symbol of executive waste. Although there is always a third pilot onboard, in case a crew member should become incapacitated. 5. He greets the pilot and says "You're the pilot of Air Force One? If you’re a fan, like Obama, you can even buy your own jacket from The White House Gift Shop. The following flights were conducted with utmost secrecy, to ensure that the President’s location remained unknown and untraceable over the radio. Here’s what we know so far. President-elect Obama and Col. Scott Turner - Jan. 4, 2009. Served: President Bill Clinton(January 1997 to January 2001) Now, it’s an emblem of Trump’s deal-making. These crew members are from 89th Airlift Wing of the USAF Air Mobility Command, which is the military’s largest executive flight department. Colonel James Underwood Cross (SAM 26000) The Air Wing consists of over 1,100 personnel, of which there are 80 pilots and 89 flight attendants. Beneath the jacket, were it not for their rank insignia, it would be easy to mistake the crew for commercial airline pilots in their white shirt and black tie. Colonel Lester C. McClelland (SAM 27000) When the 747-8 takes flight as the next Air Force One, Boeing airplanes will mark more than half a … ‘Everything this wing does is woven into the fabric of America and of its history.’. The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft. Air Force One is the official air traffic control call sign for a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President of the United States.In common parlance, the term is used to denote U.S. Air Force aircraft modified and used to transport the President. But it is Harrison Ford, playing a president named James Marshall who is also a former fighter pilot, who takes control of the plane in the 1997 movie Air Force One . Victoria is a First Officer on the Airbus A320. The new planes should be ready to fly the president by 2024. 15 Types of Airplanes from Jumbo Jets to Small Planes. A British Royal Air Force pilot could become the first non-American to fly Air Force One. This is the highest security clearance possible in the US and includes checking the backgrounds of their close family members and friends too. When travelling abroad, many countries do not appreciate the presence of uniformed military personnel. In April, Boeing won a $3.9 billion contract to create new Air Force One planes to replace the current fleet. Served: President George H. W. Bush(January 1989 to January 1993) Most Air Force pilots wear a khaki colour flying suit when operating their jets, but that is not the case for the pilots of SAM 28000 and 29000. President Bill Clinton(January 1993 to January 1997), 9. The pilots for Air Force One rotate for reasons of safety, security, duty requirements, training and personal leave. The captain of Air Force One - The Presidential Pilot - is a colonel (OF-5) post and has been ever since 1948 as the responsibilities go way beyond being the captain when flying the aircraft - as can be seen in this Nat Geo documentary from Col Tillman's era. Seeing the fighters, pilot Colonel Ralph D. Albertazzie took immediate evasive action that lasted several minutes. Served: President Lyndon Johnson(May 1968 to January 1969) In this segment from National Geographic's upcoming TV series "On Board Air Force One," President Obama boards his first flight on Air Force One--from Chicago to Washington, D.C., when he was still president-elect. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Thornhill (SAM 26000) She was the first woman to become a fighter test pilot and the first to fly the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jet. The U.S. Air Force announced that it will continue the Boeing tradition with the 747-8, which will replace the two 747-200s that serve as the presidential Air Force One fleet. To be considered to join this unit as an airman, you have to have an absolute minimum of 2,500 hours – and that’s before you can get anywhere close to flying the president! Air Force One arrives with President Donald J. Trump in Hamburg, Germany ahead of the G20 summit. The Wing has the highest reliability rating within the Air Force. Air Force One (1997) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. The two Air Force One planes have been in operation since 1990, so it should come as no surprise that they are in need of an update. For example the previous pilot of AFO Colonel Mark W. Tillman has no listing in the FAA database for pilot certificates so he does not cary any civilian privileges of flight although some might.. The main difference is that airline pilots are not trained in aerobatics and evasive manoeuvres, whereas those behind the controls of Air Force One certainly are. Colonel Tillman is a Florida native has a degree in chemical engineering and had planned to return to civilian engineering after a brief stint in the military. Colonel Ralph D. Albertazzie (SAM 27000) Air Force One is the call sign for a United States Air Force aircraft carrying the President. Currently Serving: President Barack Obama(January 2009 to ?? Tillman was flying with the younger President Bush on the day of the 9/11 attacks. Starting as a C-130 pilot, Tillman went on to work as an instructor on the T-37 before he was assigned to the 89th Airlift Wing VIP airlift unit to fly gulfstream jets carrying congressional officials, the first lady and other dignitaries. As the other answers noted, their names and personal details are closely held secrets. © 2021 - Erik Alejandro Buschardt, Webmaster. This was not the first time Tillman and his colleagues had to keep the President’s whereabouts a secret. Col. Christopher Thompson says this is ‘because we only hire the best to serve in the 89th Airlift Wing, and each of our Airmen commit to perfection as the standard.’. I've got to say, you're out of central casting. These crew members are from 89th Airlift Wing of the USAF Air Mobility Command, which is the military’s largest executive flight department. The blockbuster Harrison Ford thriller ``Air Force One'' may be winning a big thumbs-up from audiences around the nation, but four retired pilots who flew the real thing give it a thumbs-down at least when it comes to getting the story straight. The main purpose of the plane is to provide the safest and most relaxing experience for president himself. Served: President Lyndon JohnsonJuly 1965 to May 1968, 4. Served: June 1944 (Franklin Roosevelt)to January 1948 (Harry Truman). He flew for three administrations, President George H.W. These bomber jackets have been worn by USAF pilots since 1950 and are popular among enthusiasts. has set for the flight. When flying President Bush to Iraq in 2003, the President is pictured with the crew in their own clothes. All defense systems, mechanisms, and operations can be conducted from this area. Photo courtesy of Jasen P. Book, (April 2012). Fearing an attack, he banked violently and even entered a steep dive. You don’t just move people and stuff, you give the President of the United States options,” he said whilst addressing the formations of Airmen before him. President-elect Barack Obama meets Colonel Scott Turner, his new Presidential Pilot, and flies an Air Force Boeing 757 jet from Chicago to Washington, DC for the inauguration on 1/20/09, arriving in Washington at 1900 hours. One pilot got to test out just how maneuverable Air Force One could be in an earlier aircraft, the C-136 Stratoliner. then from January 1977 to April 1980 (Carter), 7. This airplane was used during the Kennedy and Nixon tenancies and played a large role in some of America’s historic political moments. ", Portrait not available. The new Air Force One arrives in 2024. Colonel Scott Turner (VC-25A) The pilot of the president's aircraft changes every 4 or 8 years. First off the pilot of Air Force One may or may not not be a commercial pilot (in the FAA sense) on account of the plane is operated by the military. When the U.S. president needs to fly to another city or country, the primary mode of transportation is a huge 747 jetliner dubbed Air Force One. Served: January 1961 to November 1963 (Kennedy),then November 1963 to July 1965 (Johnson), 3. President Barack Obama arrives at Love Field Airport, Nov. 6, 2013, in Dallas on one of two identical, highly-customized Boeing VC-25 aircraft in the U.S. Air Force fleet. President-elect Obama and Col. Scott Turner - Jan. 4, 2009. An RAF pilot is set to become the first non-American to fly Air Force One. When we hear Air Force One, we automatically think of the blue and white specially modified Boeing 747s. Served: August 1974 to January 1977 (Ford), The term, though, has manifested in other, more casual and creative ways amongst our American culture. In fact, they’re scheduled to be replaced within the next decade. Nike, for example, designed a shoe called “Air Force 1” that happens to be the best-selling athletic shoe of all time. then January 1981 to January 1989 (Reagan), "I don't feel like I've done my job if we don't open the door In other words the air force selects the pilots to fly the aircraft when a new president comes to town. Colonel Dave Banholzer (VC-25A) Col. Casey D. Eaton, the Commander of the 89th AW describes such individuals aptly during a speech. President Bush had been flown to Sarasota, Florida to visit an elementary school when the first plane hit the Twin Towers. ‘Every single one of you is here for a reason, because you’re incredible airmen. You can read more about that here. Command was relinquished to him by now-retired Colonel Mark W. Tillman, who shares a "W" with the President he served. within 30 seconds of the arrival time the White House staff Dunlop is among the most accomplished female fighter pilots in the Air Force's history. Currently Serving: President Barack Obama, 13. The aircraft are prominent symbols of the American presidency and its power. Served: President Harry TrumanJanuary 1948 to January 1953. Today’s Air Force One. In the summer of 2018, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing announced they had finalized a contract for the acquisition of two 747-8 aircraft that will eventually serve as the new Air Force One fleet. However, one lucky RAF Wing Commander will soon become the first British national to get the chance to fly the president. Colonel Robert E. Ruddick (SAM 27000) Due to national security reasons, their names are closely guarded secrets whilst they are serving. The following is a comprehensive review of the long series of United States Air Force service members who have given their time and talents to serve their nation, by transporting the President of the United States around the world. But now, a panel of aerospace and defense analysts is considering trading in the famous Air Force One jet for a smaller, less expensive aircraft to transport the president. Although the pilots get to fly in one of the most famous and high-tech planes in the world, the privilege of flying the president does not come with any financial perks. Presidential pilots earn the same base salary as any other pilot with their rank and experience. The as yet unnamed pilot has served as a Staff Officer in the US for many years and will begin flying other aircraft within the 89th Airlift Wing before he can climb through the ranks. Of central casting used during the Kennedy and Nixon tenancies and played a large role in some America. 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