FINAL FLIGHT: Saying Goodbye To F-16s

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Standing on a hot runway, with 90 degree weather, and Keith Acheson has goose bumps. He gets this way every time he thinks about flying jets. He says 25 years of flying at this base will do that to a pilot. Acheson says, “I’m starting to get goose bumps right now. For the last time. Yeah for the last time. It`s a sad deal.”

He`s here to watch the last manned flights for the 132nd fighter wing. Acheson says, “This is a big deal. It`s the finality of it. This isn`t going to happen again in the foreseeable future. We may never get airplanes here again.”

Pilots will now control the crafts by remote control from the ground instead of the cockpit. And these F-16’s are heading to a New Jersey airbase. 132nd OSS Commander Michael Barton says, “I`d be lying if I said that it wasn`t a little sad. A little bit disappointing, that we won`t get to do that on a regular basis anymore. But that`s ok. We`ve got bigger and better things to move on from here.”

After more than 70 years of aviation, this final flight celebrates the legacy it leaves behind. Acheson says, “I’m proud of them and I’m extremely happy and proud and sad at the same time. Sad to see it go. 72 years of aviation done right there you just saw it.”

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