F-16 Interviews

Pilots, Crew, and Professionals


CMSgt Jim Rusch (Ret.)

Jim is very experienced in both the F-111 and the F-16. Read about his F-111 adventures during the SAC days. Jim tells about some intense times during the cold war. Later, he became an F-16 Avionics Systems Specialist and was fortunate enough to get involved in F-16 testing at Edwards AFB.

Scott Stutler

Scott Stutler was a Dedicated Crew Chief and served from McDill AFB, Torrejon AB, Homestead AFB and Selfridge ANGB. He participated in operation Desert Storm and flew together with Mark Coan....

Captain Louis A. Davenport

Andy flies with the 111th FS out of Texas and has a background in medicine. Read this interesting account as he describes an ejection he made on September 22nd, 2003 when his engine exploded. Find out what happened to his ejection seat.

MSgt James J. Olschlager (Ret.)

James was the first crew chief to have his name put on the Thunderbirds when they flew the F-16. Also, James has been involved in a wide range of programs including years with the F-117A, VIP squadrons and testing. Find out how F-16 maintenance compares to the F-117.

TSgt Warren Trask (Ret.)

Warren Trask is well know for his fabulous Desert Storm nose art on the F-16s of the 33rd TFS. Warren was also part of the F-117 program in the early days. Read on for the story behind Warren's nose art!

General Chuck Yeager

General "Chuck" Yeager hardly needs an introduction. On October 14th, 1947, "The Fastest Man Alive" was the first to break the sound barrier in the famous Bell X-1. With 17,000 flying hours in 208 different types of military aircraft, it comes as no surprise that General Yeager also flew the F-16. He has about 100 hours in all blocks up to the block 52.

Peter Verheyen

Peter Verheyen and Johan Wolfs have been the house painters of the Belgian Air Force's 31st 'Tiger' squadron since 1991. Together they are responsible for the most stunning designs ever displayed on F-16s. In total they accomplished 14 F-16 projects together up to now (2005).

Adjudant-Major Anthony Claes

Anthony Claes is a Belgian Air Force Adjudant-Major who has been in the military for almost 28 years now. From graduation in the late seventies he has worked on the F-16 project in the electronics department right from the introduction of the aircraft in the Belgian Air Force till the current conversion to MLU.

Senior Airman Steve "Gibby" Gibson

Senior Airman Steve "Gibby" Gibson is a mechanic at Hill AFB. After participating in Red Flag & Maple Flag exercises, he deployed to Qatar in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Peter "Painter" van Stigt

Peter van Stigt is a civilian aviation artist whose designs were already used for 2 special celebration tails for the Dutch 312th & 323rd squadrons. He has been working in the advertising business for years now, designing logo's and housestyles.

Col. Ron "Gunman" Moore (Ret.)

Col. Ron Moore started his flying career in the F-4, before moving on to the F-16 ADF, C-130, A-10, and L-39 (as a civilian). He was an F-16 IP and Director of Operations for the 171st FS, Michigan ANG. Ron was involved in counter-drugs operations in Panama, and in a particularly long delivery flight to Israel.

Lt. Col. Charles "CJ" Weiss

Lt. Col. Charles "CJ" Weiss started his career as a US Navy A-7E pilot. In 1982, he switched to the USAF, and was assigned to the 388th FW at Hill AFB. Much of CJ's carreer has been in the instructor role in aircraft such as the F-16, AT-38, T-37, the Navy TA-4J and even German F-4F's.

A1C John Wilson

Airman 1st Class John Wilson is a recently graduated aircraft mechanic with the 555th FS in Aviano AB, Italy. His experiences during training at Luke AFB and Shepperd AFB are a must for everyone dreaming of joining the air force.

Lt. Col. Pat "Gums" McAdoo (Ret)

"Gums" started in the F-102A in the mid sixties. Flew over 300 combat mission in the A-37 over Vietnam and later returned to Vietnam with the A-7D. Flew over Hanoi during the 1972 Christmas blitz. Volunteered and was accepted as Chief of Academics for first F-16 unit in the world - the 16th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron.

Sergeant Randy Meverden

Randy joined the USAF in 1988, went to Lackland AFB, TX for Basic training, and then to Sheppard AFB, TX for Crew Chief Tech school. First assignment was to the 50th TFW 10th AMU Hahn AB Germany. In 1991 re-assigned to the 388th TFW 421st TFS Hill AFB, UT. While at Hill AFB was part of the 388thTFW 1991 Gunsmoke Team. He made Sergeant, discharged. In 1994 went into the USAF reserves at the 95th Airlift Squadron...

Captain Christian "Louis" van Gestel

Captain Gestel is the 2004 Royal Netherlands Air Force demonstration pilot. He has 1,600 hours currently on the F-16 and is the current flight commander of 322 Squadron. Look for Captain Gestel at European air shows in 2004.

MSgt Erik Singletary

MSgt Erik Singletary is the Superintendent of Wing Inspections for the 20th Fighter Wing. Erik has spent many years as a loader and some as a crew chief at most of the large USAF F-16 bases. In 1990 he deployed to the Gulf to get ready for Desert Storm, but is also a veteran of Provide Comfort and Operation Southern Watch.

SMSgt (E-8) Thomas Wharton (Ret.)

Thomas spent 26 years in the USAF and has worked on a variety of aircraft. He began his career in the Vietnam war, during which he was severly injured in a rocket attack. In 1987, Thomas was selected one of 12 "Outstanding Airmen of the United States Air Force", and met President Reagan. From 1988 to 1991, Thomas worked with the USAF Thunderbirds as Line Chief/Production Superintendent.

Lt. Col. Wendell "Smokey" Bauman

Lt.Col. Bauman is about to finish out his career. He will probably not get to fly the Viper again unfortunately. He enjoyed it immensely, but did not make Colonel this year [1998]. His primary zone will be trying to go to Eglin for final tour. He was commissioned in 1975, went immediately to UPT at Laughlin AFB, TX ...

Maj. Gregory N. "Mongo" Stroud

Major Stroud received a commission as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy in 1981 through Aviation Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Florida. This was, and still is, the fastest program (15 weeks) at that time, for getting into U. S. military flying. He progressed through training in the T-34, T-2, and A-4 aircraft ...

Maj. Mark "Conan" Coan

Maj. Mark "Conan" Coan (Viper Driver nr. 1287 on the 1K list), a native from Ohio, graduated from VMI and went to pilot training at Reese AFB, Texas. He has accumulated over 2500 flying hours in trainer and fighter aircraft, and is currently assigned to 5 ATAF at Vicenza AB, Italy ...

Lt. Col. Craig "Skip" Wilkerson

Lt.Col. Wilkerson (Nr. 590 on the 1K list) started flying the Viper in May of '84 in his initial checkout in A models at MacDill. His first assignment (and the best of his career as he claims) was 4 years at Hahn followed by 2.5 years at Shaw (19 FS) and a year remote in the 35th FS at Kunsan, Korea ...

Maj. Russell "Crancky" Prechtl

Originally from Plainfield, NJ, Maj Russell Prechtl received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas (1982), where he also completed Air Force ROTC with a pilot scholarship. One of the highlights of his ROTC time, was a tour of the General Dynamics Assembly Line in Ft. Worth - at the time (May 1982) building F-16A's ...

Maj. Paul "Gruve" Gruver

Maj. Gruver flew for a time with the 10TFS from Hahn AB in Germany. Later on he swith from active service to the ANG. e now flies with the 194th Fighter Squadron in Fresno, California. This unit now flies the C-models of the venerable viper, with its primary mission being the defense of the United States ...

Maj. Mark "Stitch" Miller

Maj. Miller graduated from the USAF Academy in 1982 and subsequently attended Euro NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training at Sheppard AFB where he graduated in 1983 as a distinguished graduate. He then completed F-16 training again as distinguished graduate plus being the Air- to Air Top Gun at Mac Dill AFB ...

Maj. Jeffrey B. "Roach" Rochelle

Major (LtCol select) Jeffrey B. "Roach" Rochelle was a distinguished graduate from the F-16A RTU at Luke AFB AZ. Roach's first operational assignment was to the 612 TFS, 401 TFW at Torrejon Spain, where he eventually became a flight commander and Instructor Pilot ...

Capt. Frank "Stinks" Swinkels

Frank Swinkels joined the RNlAF in August 1978 and received his initial pilot training on the SAAB 91D Safir (15 hrs.) of the State Flying School (RLS) at Eelde Airport (EHGG), Groningen, NL. He was one of first ten Dutch pilots to go through UPT at Sheppard AFB (KSPS), Whichita Falls, Tx ...

Cdt. Vl. Jan "D" Lemmens

Jan Lemmens started his career with the Belgian Air Force as a student-pilot in April '72. He completed the then standard instruction courses on Siai Marchetti SF-260M, Fouga Magister CM-170 and Lockheed T-33 to graduate as pilot, top off his class in July '74 ...

Maj. Jim "Magic" Henderson

Major Henderson grew up in Oregon where he attended Oregon State University and was a ROTC cadet. He went to Vance AFB for my pilot training, and started flying the F-16 in March 1985 as a "Viper Baby" - going to the jet right out of pilot training. His first assignment was at Nellis AFB flying F-16A's in the 428 TFS ...

Squadron Leader Sameen Mazhar

S/L Sameen Mazhar joined the Pakistani Air Force (Pakistan Fiza'ya) in October 1980, and after four years of rigorous training and academics at the PAF College at Sargodha, he was awarded a bachelors degree in Aerosciences. He then went to the Air Force Academy at Risalpur for flying training ...

Capt. Andy "Opie" Davidson Taylor

Capt. Andy "Opie" Davidson Taylor has flown the Viper for 8 years this April 3rd, 1997. He has flown block 30 Big Mouths in Torrejon, Spain; block 10's and Block 30 Small Mouths with the DC Air National Guard; and block 25's with the 62d Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB at which he is now stationed ...

Maj. Russ "Puck" Quinn

Major Quinn, a Salt Lake City (Utah) native, graduated from the US Air Force Academy in 1985. The next year he attended and graduated from the Euro-Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) at Sheppard AFB in Texas after which he converted to the F-16A at Macdill AFB, FL and to the F-16C at Luke AFB, AZ ...

Lt. Col. Frank "Spanky" Ott

Lt. Col. Ott entered the USAF in 1980 after graduating from the USAF Academy. He went to pilot training, and then was a T-38 IP until 1984. He started flying the F-16 at MacDill AFB, Florida, and had F-16 assignments at Hahn AB (Germany), Osan (South Korea), Nellis AFB, Shaw AFB, and Eglin AFB ...