Bye Bye Kestrels

The Air Force Academy retired its TG-10C Kestrel glider fleet after certifying a final new cadet instructor pilot on a check ride last week. The school acquired 12 TG-10s in 2002 for use in cadets’ basic and aerobatic training. The final Kestrel sortie took place on July 23, according to a July 26 academy release. Before their transfer to the Civil Air Patrol, the school’s Kestrels logged 140,000 total flights, according to 94th Flying Training Squadron officials. Replacing the TG-10s are the academy’s new high-performance TG-16As. They “are made of fiberglass instead of sheet metal. It’s leading-edge soaring equipment,” said Lt. Col. Richard Roller, 94th FTS commander. The academy has received 15 of the German-built TG-16s, and is awaiting delivery of four more, states the release. New cadets began using the TG-16 on July 16. (Colorado Springs report by Amber Baillie)