Army Fixed Wing Flight Training

December 29, 2009

This footage shows Army fixed wing flight training activities during a nine month period in 1968. The film was taken at Fort Stewart, GA and Fort Rucker, AL. Each training class was comprised of between 25-30 commissioned officers and distinguished by the color of their hats. This particular group of officers was known as the "Gold Hat" class. Initial scenes are of primary training at Ft. Stewart, where officers were taught basic flying skills in the Army’s T-41 Mescalero (a modified Cessna 172). Scenes at Ft. Stewart include footage of the Army’s T-41 training fleet at Wright Army Airfield (AAF) and pilots practicing takeoffs and landings on unimproved grass strips at Ft. Stewart. Advanced training at Fort Rucker was conducted in Army T-42 Beech Baron twin engine aircraft and the Cessna O-1 "Birddog" aircraft. The training pilots received in the Baron led to their multiengine and instrument ratings as Army pilots. The training in the "Dog" was tactical in nature and oriented towards preparing the new aviators for assignments upon graduation: a combat flying tour in Vietnam. There most would be flying the Birddogs in combat support activities such as reconnaissance, direction of artillery and naval gunfire, and forward air control. The T-42 footage shows officers being bused to Cairns AAF and activities from a typical training flight. In this sequence the pilot is receiving training flying with a hood and culminates the day’s training with an instrument approach to Cairns AAF. The Birddog footage is taken at several satellite fields at Fort Rucker. Pilots are seen practicing landings over fifty foot obstacles, preflight activities, low level flying (dead reckoning), and the film ends with a scene showing the completion of a tactical 360 degree overhead approach and landing in a Birddog. – Great to see a well documented movie. This home movie should be very interesting to those who were at Fort Stewart, Geortgia and Fort Rucker, Alabama in the late 1960’s.
thanks for the trip down memory lane. I was a Catkiller from March 1969 – March 1970. Became a Flight commander for the Tactics portion of the Bird Dog phase closing out the Bird Dog training in 1972. Thanks for the ride!

Duration : 0:23:48

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