Close sidebar

USAF removes Thunderbirds commander

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 30, 2017

The US Air Force has taken the unprecedented step of removing the commander of its Thunderbirds flight demonstration team only half-way through his two-year posting, citing a loss of confidence.

Lt Col Jason Heard was relieved of his command on November 20 by 57th Wing commander Brig Gen Jeannie Leavitt due to a loss of confidence in the Thunderbirds 1 pilot’s “leadership and risk management style”.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that is ultimately in the best interests of the Thunderbird team,” Brig Gen Jeannie Leavitt said in a statement.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“I am personally grateful for Jason’s dedication to the 2017 season.”

Lt Col Heard led the Thunderbirds throughout its 2017 season. The team flew 70 displays in 2017, a year marked by the loss of an F-16 during a familarisation flight in June.

The two-seat F-16D over-ran a wet runway while landing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, before overturning. The pilot and his maintenance technician passenger suffered minor injuries, but the aircraft was written off.

Lt Col Heard has more than 3,000 flight hours and 800 hours on combat operations. He is a former F-15 squadron commander.

PROMOTED CONTENT

 

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

USAF removes Thunderbirds commander Comment

  • Paul

    says:

    I hope things get better for him. We hope that’s the case anyway.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

USAF removes Thunderbirds commander

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 30, 2017

The US Air Force has taken the unprecedented step of removing the commander of its Thunderbirds flight demonstration team only half-way through his two-year posting, citing a loss of confidence.

Lt Col Jason Heard was relieved of his command on November 20 by 57th Wing commander Brig Gen Jeannie Leavitt due to a loss of confidence in the Thunderbirds 1 pilot’s “leadership and risk management style”.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision to make, but one that is ultimately in the best interests of the Thunderbird team,” Brig Gen Jeannie Leavitt said in a statement.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“I am personally grateful for Jason’s dedication to the 2017 season.”

Lt Col Heard led the Thunderbirds throughout its 2017 season. The team flew 70 displays in 2017, a year marked by the loss of an F-16 during a familarisation flight in June.

The two-seat F-16D over-ran a wet runway while landing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, before overturning. The pilot and his maintenance technician passenger suffered minor injuries, but the aircraft was written off.

Lt Col Heard has more than 3,000 flight hours and 800 hours on combat operations. He is a former F-15 squadron commander.

PROMOTED CONTENT

 

Steer your own in-flight experience – available on print and digital Whether our classic glossy magazine in your letterbox, daily news updates in your inbox, peeling back a few layers in the podcast or our monthly current affair reports, you can count on us to keep you up to date. Sign up today for just $99.95 for more exclusive offers here. Subscribe now at australianaviation.com.au.

USAF removes Thunderbirds commander Comment

  • Paul

    says:

    I hope things get better for him. We hope that’s the case anyway.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year