Aloft for 167 Days in a Viper

Air Force Reservist Col. Kurt Gallegos last week eclipsed 4,000 flight hours in the F-16 on a sortie from NAS Fort Worth JRB, Tex., joining an elite group of pilots worldwide who have reached this milestone. “I’m still flying and that’s the best thing, I love every minute of it. It never gets boring or mundane,” said Gallegos after his milestone flight on Aug 8. He began flying the F-16 in 1991. He currently heads Air Force Reserve Command’s 301st Operations Group, flying with the group’s 457th Fighter Squadron at Fort Worth. “It takes an incredible amount of time and effort to build up that many hours,” said Brig. Gen. William Binger, commander of AFRC’s 10th Air Force, who was Gallegos’ wingman for the historic sortie. Binger himself reached 4,000 flight hours in the F-16 in 2005 over Iraq. Four thousand flight hours is the equivalent of spending 167 days in the cockpit. (Fort Worth report by SrA. Melissa Harvey)