July 10, 2007 (by Chantelle Janelle) - A South Carolina Air National Guard pilot passed an aviation milestone Monday.
, Vice Commander of the 169th Fighter Wing, recorded his 4,000th hour
flying the F-16 fighting Falcon. Other members of the wing gave him a little shower after his flight.
In addition to Pennington's achievement, combined with his three fellow pilots, Lieutenant Colonels Scott Bridgers, Mike Manning and David Meyer, the pilots have more than a combined 14,000 hours in the F-16, including several hundred combat flights between them.
But Colonel Pennington says the pilots don't deserve all the credit. "I've been flying my whole career and I've had outstanding support. So, I tell you, the maintenance people here at McEntire is phenomenal. They do a great job and ... I owe a lot to them for why I've got 4,000 hours."
Through all the hours logged in the F-16, the 169th has an extraordinary safety record. Over the last 20 years they have more than 100,000 accident-free flying hours.