Flying training at Spence Air Base was conducted by Hawthorne School of Aeronautics. Flight Supervisors and Instructor Pilots employed by Hawthorne were ex-military and professional civilian pilots with additional current USAF training. Trainees were USAF Aviation Cadets and Student Officers, occasional students from other US armed force branches, and students from over 30 allied countries. The Spence flying training course lasted six months with approximately 30 flying hours in smaller “screening” type aircraft and an additional 100 hours in larger, more complex aircraft. Students alternated between morning and afternoon flight schedules with other required training during the remaining half day.
It wasn’t all flying - ground school and Link training played an important role.
One flight of students departs the flight line as a second flight arrives.
Flight students were briefed before and debriefed after their flights each day.
Preparing to head off into the wild blue.
A day one never forgets - that first solo flight.
The training didn't stop when the sun went down.
Spence military check pilots and the USAF Standardization Board checked both students and instructors for compliance with strict USAF standards.
Section II Instructor Pilots - 1954. This group represented about one quarter of the total instructor staff at Spence at that time.
Spence Graduation - Class 57-R Aviation Cadets. January, 1957. Photographed in Spence Aviation Cadet Mess Hall. For enlargement of Class 57-R picture click here.
T-37 Pilot Report
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