Dyess AFB pilot says football game flyovers used as training


ABILENE, Texas - All eyes were pointed toward the sky at the Army-Air Force football game Saturday as two B-1 bombers from Dyess Air Force Base flew over Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Lt. Col. Chris Wachter said he hopes that he inspires someone the same way he was inspired when he was a cadet.

"I saw a B-1 do a fly by when I was a cadet in 1993 and I looked up and said, 'That's the plane I want to fly,'" Wachter said. "So hopefully there's a cadet there that saw that and said, 'That's the plane I want to fly.'"

Wachter graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1997, as did six out of the eight who carried out the flyover.

Wachter said that flyovers are counted as a mission and count as pilot training.

"All the time we're using that national resource, we're getting training out of it," Wachter said. "We're applying it to tactical scenarios that we might use for in other places, so it's not like we just generated a flight just to go to give a flyby."

Wachter said that they must time their flyover just right. He said that they plan it out just as if it were a combat mission.

"In the real world, there are people on the ground that we're supporting and we need to deliver effects in order to protect them on the ground, and it has to be done very precisely," Wachter said.

Wachter said that he believes the B-1 is the best aircraft in the Air Force.

" I t's the wonderful mix of a very high-speed performance aircraft with the lethality, survivability, long-persistent, it's just a very enjoyable mission that we do," Wachter said.

Dyess was also at another event during the weekend. Personnel from Dyess and the Honor Guard were at the Texas Motor Speedway. The Dyess Honor Guard presented the colors and the personnel held state flags there.

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