Reservist Reaches 5,000 Flying Hours in Jayhawk

Lt. Col. Rick Stoffel, an instructor pilot assigned to Air Force Reserve Command’s 39th Flying Training Squadron at JBSA-Randolph, Tex., recently surpassed 5,000 flight hours in the T-1A Jayhawk, according to base officials. Accumulating that much flying time in one aircraft type is considered a rare feat, according to a mid-October Randolph release. “This vast experience has made him a top-tier instructor as well as a mentor for incoming instructor pilots,” said Lt. Col. Gavin Marks, commander of Randolph’s 99th FTS. Stoffel’s Reserve unit helps operate the 99th FTS’ T-1s under an association. Although Stoffel began his Air Force career as a KC-10 pilot, he has been teaching pilots in the T-1 for the past 15 years, states the release. “Our Reservists are a backbone of our unit,” said Marks. “You can’t manufacture guys like Rick [Stoffel]; he provides my schoolhouse instant credibility.” (Randolph report by 2nd Lt. Keenan Kunst)