FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

P-51C Mustang “Tuskegee Airmen” Has Successful Test Flight

Aircraft will return to 2017 Air Show Circuit

Red Wing, Minn. and Bemidji, Minn. – December 1, 2016 – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, and AirCorps Aviation, specialists in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage WWII aircraft, announced the successful return to flight of the Squadron’s P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen. The aircraft had been out of commission for eight months to undergo careful and meticulous repair following a hard landing. The aircraft made a safe and successful test flight on December 1, and is expected to return shortly to its mission to honor the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen at air shows and events around the country.

“There were no issues with the test flight and the aircraft flew great,” said Doug Rozendaal, one of the founders of the CAF Red Tail Squadron who piloted the aircraft. “We can now get the P-51 back up in the air where it belongs, inspiring young people to rise above adversity, just like the Tuskegee Airmen. We look forward to filling up our 2017 schedule with air shows and events that will give us the opportunity to fulfill our important mission.”

The success of this test flight marks the first step in getting the aircraft back on the air show circuit. The mission of the CAF Red Tail Squadron is to educate audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. The P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen plays a pivotal role in this outreach effort, along with the Squadron’s RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit mobile movie theater.

“One of the Six Guiding Principles of the CAF Red Tail Squadron is to never quit. The decision to repair the Mustang is a great example of that principle,” said Erik Hokuf, managing partner of AirCorps Aviation. “Our team was proud to help bring this very special aircraft back to flying status so it can once again inspire young people to rise above their own obstacles, just like the Tuskegee Airmen.”

Supporters of the CAF Red Tail Squadron and warbird enthusiasts have been able to track the process in real time with AirCorps Aviation’s up-to-date status reports and photos on the Squadron’s Facebook page. Over 3,000 hours were logged to get the P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen back in the air.

“I have a long history with the P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen as I was involved in both the first and second restorations,” said Mark Tisler, manager of restorations and one of the owners of AirCorps Aviation. “The CAF Red Tail Squadron teaches young people to never allow obstacles or circumstances to stop them from achieving their goals. The two restorations and the repair demonstrate the Squadron not only believes those teachings, but also sets an example of how to overcome obstacles.”

For further information about how to bring the CAF Red Tail Squadron’s P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen to your community, event or school, contact Kristi Younkin, CAF Red Tail Squadron logistics coordinator, at logistics@redtail.org or (479) 228-4520. Learn more at redtail.org.

 

About the CAF Red Tail Squadron

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven non-profit organization dedicated to educating audiences across the country about the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black military pilots and their support personnel. RISE ABOVE: Red Tail, their three-fold outreach program, includes a fully restored WWII-era P-51C Mustang, the signature aircraft of the Tuskegee Airmen; the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit 53’ mobile theater featuring the original panoramic film “Rise Above”; and resource materials for teachers and youth leaders. Each year, they embark on a nine-month cross-country tour that includes appearances at air shows, schools, museums and community events. The group’s Six Guiding Principles – Aim High, Believe In Yourself, Use Your Brain, Be Ready To Go, Never Quit and Expect to Win – serve as the foundation for their outreach programs and are based on the experiences and successes of the Tuskegee Airmen. The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization part of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). Learn more at redtail.org.

 

About AirCorps Aviation

Located in Bemidji, Minn., AirCorps Aviation LLC specializes in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage WWII aircraft. The AirCorps team of 23 dedicated employees bring forth experience, dedication, passion, and award-winning detail that shows in every project they complete. For more information, visit aircorpsaviation.com or facebook.com/aircorpsaviation.

###

 

Press Contacts

CAF Red Tail Squadron

Darcy Castro

darcy@redtail.org

(203) 297-4994

Visit www.redtail.org/news-media-kit for access to more photos and materials especially for the media, and download high resolutions shots from the December 1 test flight.

 

AirCorps Aviation

Chuck Cravens

chuckc@aircorpsaviation.com

(218) 444-4478

Share:

More Posts

Betty Jane Williams

Betty Jane “BJ” Williams 1919 – December 8, 2008 Class: 44-W-6 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Randolph Army Air Base (San Antonio, Tex.) Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-7, PT-19 Since no

Read More »

Kathryn Stark Gunderson

Kathryn Stark Gunderson 1916 – February 12, 2019 Class: 43-W-5 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Romulus Army Air Base (Mich.) Planes flown: PT-19 and AT-6 Gunderson had a lifelong interest in aviation,

Read More »

Caryl W. Jones Stortz

Caryl W. Jones Stortz January 1, 1918 – February 24, 2009 Class: 43-W-5 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Camp Davis Army Air Field (N.C.) Planes flown: PT-17, AT-6, A-24, A-20 Caryl “Suds”

Read More »

Betty Jo Streff Reed

Betty Jo Streff Reed June 20, 1923  – June 22, 2013 Class: 44-W-7 Training Location: Avenger Field (Sweetwater, Tex.) Assigned Bases: Columbus Army Air Field (Miss.) Planes flown: PT-17, BT-13, AT-6, AT-1 “Never let go

Read More »

Send Us A Message