Commemorative Air Force Blogs

Welcome to the Commemorative Air Force Blogs. A great way to stay informed about what is going on with the CAF.

Countdown to ICAS Annual Event

Countdown to ICAS Annual Event

Good Evening Everyone

There is only two months left and if you are going to want a booth, please reply to me right away. The hotel and booth information is below:

Convention Delegates Reserving Rooms in ICAS Block Will Receive $100 Discount on Standard Registration Fees. Make your sleeping room reservation within the ICAS room block at the Rio All-Suites Hotel. The savings for registering this way can be as high as $190. "ICAS has negotiated terms that require that our delegates reserve a certain number of sleeping rooms during the ICAS Convention each year," says ICAS President John Cudahy. "So, to encourage our members to reserve within that block, this year, for the first time, we are offering a $100 discount on the standard registration fee to delegates who reserve and occupy a Rio sleeping room during this year's convention." 

Only members who have confirmed reservations at the host hotel under the ICAS room block are eligible for the discount. And members who have a reservation within the ICAS block, but cancel their hotel reservation, will not be able to take advantage of the discount.

This year, ICAS has negotiated a rate of $89 for convention participants. Delegates making a reservation within the ICAS block of rooms will also receive complimentary in-room internet access and will not be obligated to pay the standard $28/day resort fee.

To make your sleeping room reservation at the Rio All-Suite Hotel, call 888-746-6955 and use the group code: SRICS5. Alternatively, you can make your reservation on-line by visiting: https://resweb.passkey.com/go/SRICS5.

Booth assignments are first come, first served, so get your order in before they are all booked up. All you have to do is pick a booth and send me an email with your selection. Our spaces are 216 – 227 (see floor plan below) and the only ones left are 219, 220, ½ of 221 and 225.  The total price will be $1,190 (only $45 more than last year and $255 less than 2013!) and half that if you share. These prices include the CAF backdrop, so all you have to do is bring your unit and airplane specific displays to attach to the backdrop. If you will have computers and monitors to set up, bring extension cords and a power strip. When I confirm your selection I will send a copy to finance and they will bill you then. If you need to cancel your booth, we will refund your payment when and if we can  get another unit to fill it. Obviously, the closer to the convention the harder this will be to do.

Exhibitor set up is Sunday, December 6; please come by and help set up your (our boothes). We always get this done by helping each other, so plan on 2-3 hours starting at 0830.  The convention, including access to the exhibit hall is for members only.  Non registered guests may attend the last exhibit hall session on Thursday, accompanied by an ICAS registrant. 

You need to register under the CAF:

               Click on this link  http://www.airshows.aero/Page/ConventionRegistration log on as bobstenevik, password midland, click select CAF and see if your name is on our membership list.

  1. If you are on the list, click on the pull down next to your name and select DISC (for discount), scroll to the bottom and click continue, enter your email address and credit card information and click submit.
  1. If you are not on the list, click on this link http://www.airshows.aero/Page/JoinICAS fill out the form to join, select member of Commemorative Air Force in the pull down and click submit. Then click on this link  http://www.airshows.aero/Page/ConventionRegistration log on as BobStenevik, password midland, click select CAF, click on the pull down next to your name and select STD, scroll to the bottom and click continue, enter your email address and credit card information and click submit.

2015 ICAS floorplan

c.      216: TORA
d.     217: Arizona
e.      218: ½ Centex, ½ Invader Squadron
f.      219:
g.     220:
h.     221: ½ HQ
i.       222: Inland Empire
j.       223: B-24/B-29 Squadron
k.     224: ½ RMW, Lady Liberty ½
l.       225: Southern Cal ½
m.   226: Blastards/EOD

n.     227: Red Tail

Copyright

© Image:Shutterstock/welcomia

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Going too Far in the Cockpit

Going too Far in the Cockpit

I was forwarded a link to a great and relevant article, that I invite all CAF members to read. It is especially good information to keep in mind and has certainly something that has come up recently.

Click the link below to read article from Aviation Week.

FAR Part 91.13: What Is ‘Careless or Reckless?’

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Keeping our Mustang in tip-top shape!

Keeping our Mustang in tip-top shape!

 

Our P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen is under the weather, of sorts. After bringing in the aircraft for routine maintenance, it has been revealed that there are some major items that are in need of immediate repair, which will ground us until this larger scope of work is complete.

The radiator, one of the legs of the landing gear, a piston ring and damage to the aileron cables are all on the docket for repair, along with the Mustang’s regularly-schedule maintenance. Although none of these needs indicate a life-threatening problem to the aircraft, they certainly are very expensive and need to be attended to before it can be flown again.

Tye Halvas and the team at AirCorps Aviation are giving us the inside scoop on the maintenance and repair, and we are going to keep you updated with regular posts and pictures to follow along with the process. Keep your eyes on this blog for updates!

Current work in progress:

Engine - The banks and pistons are at Roush Aviation and will be done the first week of February. Right now they are in the disassembly and inspection process.

Landing gear - The pivot shafts are getting magnafluxed and cadmium plated. They are expected back January 13th. At that point that landing gear will be reassembled, serviced with fluid and nitrogen and installed in the aircraft.

Horizontal stabilizer - The patch has been completed and the paint process is done though primer. As soon as the landing gear is in and the aircraft is back on the ground it will be painted red.

Radiator - The radiator has been cleaned and inspected. Repairs have been made to the solder and the core is currently being tested.

Check out these great photos from the crew at AirCorps Aviation. Join us on this blog as we follow our P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen back to pristine condition!

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Learn more at www.redtail.org.

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Portraits of Tuskegee Airmen: Master Sergeant James Sheppard

Portraits of Tuskegee Airmen: Master Sergeant James Sheppard

In recent months we explored the importance of the Tuskegee Airmen support personnel in our blog, and even took a closer look at women in these roles. For every mission, many important players came together to create success through maintenance, training, flight skill and countless other crucial pieces of the puzzle. It simply cannot happen without a cohesive and dedicated team.

Another one of these important support personnel that the CAF Red Tail Squadron is honored to acknowledge is Master Sergeant James Sheppard.

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Sheppard, originally from Harlem, enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 at the age of 18. He was already a certified aviation mechanic, having earned his education from the Haaren Aviation Technical School in New York City. Sheppard was then assigned to Tuskegee Army Air Field and the 301st Fighter Squadron.

During his time with the Tuskegee Airmen, he was trained as an Aviation Maintenance Technician, and acted as Crew Chief earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He deployed with the Squadron to Italy where his skill and leadership played a key role in the success of the group’s aerial combat missions. Their aircraft included P-51C Mustangs, P-47 Thunderbolts, P-30s and Curtiss P-40s, all of which he worked on during his service.

Unfortunately, even a war hero such as Sheppard had to battle ongoing racial discrimination, making securing employment difficult. Like his fellow Tuskegee Airmen, it took strength of character and courage to triumph over this adversity. He re-entered the civilian workforce in 1945 after the war ended, working for various airlines out of New York as an aircraft mechanic. He also served as a US Air Force Reservist for 10 years, where his experience and work as a flight engineer with the 436th Troup Carrier Wing earned him the rank of Master Sergeant.

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Sheppard spent the rest of his career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), retiring as a Supervisory Aviation Safety Inspector in the Flight Standards department who works to promote safe air transportation by setting the standards for certification and oversight of airmen, air operators, air agencies, and designees.

In 2011, CAF Red Tail Squadron pilot Alan Miller had the privilege of flying Sheppard in our P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen. The Portland Press Herald covered the event with an article recounting the importance of the day, and how meaningful it was for Sheppard.

“As the loud engine shut off, Sheppard looked at those around him and said, ‘Now, can you imagine seeing 48 of those taking off at one time?’”

- MSgt James Sheppard

Portland Press Herald

September 2011

Another one of our pilots, Bill Shepard, also had the opportunity to meet Sheppard face-to-face. “We talked about our backgrounds and I got to hear first-hand about his experiences as a Tuskegee Airmen during the war. I have such admiration for him. What a wealth of experience,” he said. “I have pride for following in the footsteps of some great individuals, and they are proud of me for continuing the journey, and laying down more tracks for the new crop. Meeting airmen like James Sheppard simply makes me want to do better.”

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On behalf of the CAF Red Tail Squadron, we salute Tuskegee Airmen MSgt James Sheppard for his service to our country and for continuing to inspire generations to come with his example of determination and heroism.

RISE ABOVE!

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. Learn more at www.redtail.org.

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