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Gulf Coast Wing Cadet Program Flies High

Santa Fe, New Mexico (January 8, 2023) - Article by CAF Col Charles Scott Williams

In another historic event for the Gulf Coast Wing Cadet Program, Cadet Robert Buniva earned his High-Altitude Endorsement at the Jet Warbird Training Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico flying in the L-39 Albatros. The High-Altitude Endorsement is required to fly above 25,000 feet above mean sea level. The planning started with a call to Larry Salganek, the owner of the Jet Warbird Training Center. I asked Larry what the cost for this training would be for our Cadets and he told me that he would put pen to paper and call me back. The resulting conversation was that if I would teach the Ground School for the High-Altitude Endorsement, the cost would be reduced. I gladly taught the ground school! With jet fuel prices so high Larry did the best he could do and we are thankful for this offer. Thanks also go to Col Paul Bienvenu’s efforts in obtaining corporate funds for the Cadet Flight Training Fund, as much of the cost was offset making the training possible.

Five hours of Ground School was completed for the High-Altitude Endorsement that included topics on high-altitude meteorology, subsonic, transonic, and supersonic aerodynamics, flight physiology, as well as Federal Aviation Regulations applicable to the High-Altitude flight. Next was the flight itself which took place at the Santa Fe Airport at the Jet Warbird Training Center with Mr. Larry Salganek as the Instructor Pilot. The flight profile involved climbing to 26,000 feet, doing a simulated cabin decompression that included Robert donning an oxygen mask, then descending so that aerobatics could be accomplished, including rolls and loops. Preceding the flight was one of the most professional preflight briefings that I have seen as Larry covered aircraft systems/procedures, the flight profile, and emergency bailout procedures.

This flight earned Cadet Robert Buniva a High-Altitude Endorsement, aerobatic and jet experience, and was totally COOL! MUCH THANKS to Mr. Larry Salganek of the Jet Warbird Training Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. If you are interested in gaining experience in one of the many aircraft at the Jet Warbird Training Center which include; L-29, L-39, T-33, Fouga Magister, and MIG 15, contact Mr. Larry Salganek at (505) 471-4151, http://jetwarbird.com, E-mail: info@jetwarbird.com

Post Flight- Cadet Robert Buniva (L), Larry Salganek (R)

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