The CAF Dixie Wing's P-51D Red Nose has a new pilot. On Dec. 12, Dallas based CAF Col Mark Todd, checked out in the Commemorative Air Force's first airplane the P-51 Mustang Red Nose. Mark grew up flying an L-5 off out of his dad's grass strip. He went on to fly for the airlines after college. In 2013 Mark Joined TORA! TORA! TORA! flying the Kate replica for the performing team. Mark received the FAST formation lead card this past summer and right after checked out in the CAF Dixie Wing’s SBD Dauntless. Mark has a total of 11,000 flight hours, 600 of which flying warbirds.
The P-51D Mustang Red Nose was the airplane that launched the Confederate Air Force (now Commemorative Air Force). The founding members of the CAF including Lloyd P. Nolen himself acquired it. This airplane is not only historically significant, but it is thoroughly engrained in the CAF's heritage as well. The CAF General Staff assigned the P-51 Red Nose to the Dixie Wing in November 2002.The CAF requirements to fly the P-51 are: 1000 Hrs. PIC, 500 Hrs. single engine of which 200 Hrs in T-6 or similar type tail wheel. Two independent check rides from the aft cockpit are also required.