In the News

05.08.2015 In the News No Comments

Columbine II will fly again (Super Constellation)

Randy Larsen, Col. USAF, Ret., answering my question on which Constellation is in the Wright Patterson AFB museum. Randy was in charge of the Air Force One fleet and private aircraft at Andrews AFB in the 90’s before he retired.


The Connie in the USAF museum at Wright Patterson AFB…

Is the only VC-121E ever built. It was President Dwight Eisenhower’s personal airplane between 1954 and 1961. Mrs. Eisenhower christened it Columbine III in honor of the official flower of Colorado, her adopted home state, in ceremonies on Nov. 24, 1954. Columbine III served as the presidential aircraft until President Eisenhower left office in January 1961. It remained in service transporting government officials and visiting foreign dignitaries throughout the world until it was retired to the museum in 1966.

Columbine II will fly again

Columbine II, the first presidential a/c to be called Air Force One, will be under new ownership this summer as a restoration process gets under way in Arizona. Dynamic Aviation of Bridgewater, Virginia completed its due diligence this week and decided to proceed with the purchase of the 1948 Lockheed C-121A Constellation (48-0610) used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Owners Harry Oliver and Lockie Christler – son of the late Mel Christler, who had owned it for years – will sell the Connie to Dynamic founder Karl. D. Stoltzfus Sr. “After extensive inspection and repairs on the aircraft we are ready to accept it, and to proceed with closing in June. Many challenges remain before we can fly it to Virginia but we are now confident that it is feasible.”

Stoltzfus credits the present owners for hanging on to Columbine II through the years and investing in its preservation. “Without their dedication and their efforts to preserve it, it would most likely have been melted down long ago,” he said. Among the project’s other supporters are Mid America Flight Museum of Mt. Pleasant, Texas. The Air Force retired Columbine II in 1968 and sold it as surplus in 1970. It then sat in salvage yards in Arizona until 1990 when it was made airworthy again, then after a flying a few hours it was parked in Marana in 2003 and hasn’t moved since. Dynamic wants to make the aircraft airworthy and fly it home as a certificated aircraft rather than on a ferry permit; no completion date has been set.

07.01.2014 In the News No Comments

Elite former military skydivers jump into San Diego July 1

Army vets Hart and double amputee Bowman dive into Embarcadero Marina Park North Tuesday

San Diego, CA. June 30, 2014. Two elite veterans of the U.S. Army Rangers and the Golden Knights will skydive into Embarcadero Marina Park North at noon, Tuesday, July 1, withpatriotic aerial flag displays during the National Speakers Association (NSA) Convention. The NSA has over 3,000 members worldwide and the convention is at the Hyatt Manchester in San Diego through July 2.

WHO:  Dana Bowman, a retired Sergeant First Class, Special Forces Soldier and a former member of the Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights, will fly the American flag during the jump. Bowman, a double amputee, lost his legs in an accident during the annual Golden Knights training in Yuma, AZ in 1994.

David Hart, former Army Ranger, has over 4,000 jumps and will carry a large NSA flag with a red, white and blue banner. Hart has competed at the U.S. Nationals Skydiving Championship and has facilitated over a thousand first jump experiences. His Team Fastrax performs over 200 shows a year and also takes wounded warriors skydiving. The team has jumped over Lower Manhattan on the anniversary of 9/11, into NASCAR races, professional sport stadiums, airshows and even symphony performances.

WHAT: A patriotic celebration for the National Speakers Association convention sponsored by Speaking Eagles, a professional speaking group of aviators, military veterans and aviation professionals.

WHERE: Embarcadero Marina Park North, 400 Kettner Boulevard, next to the Hyatt Manchester at 1 Market Place, San Diego

WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, July 1


For more information, visit:

Team Fast Trax jumps with the U.S. flag over NYC

Team Fast Trax jumps with the U.S. flag over NYC

See video of Team Fastrax’s Flag Day Jump:

Editors’ note: Scheduled skydive is weather dependent 

04.08.2014 In the News No Comments

Space Shuttle Commander shares Upset Prevention and Recovery techniques with Flying Magazine

Space Shuttle Commander shares Upset Prevention and Recovery techniques with Flying Magazine
Flying Magazine recently visited Flight Research, Inc. to explore instructing commercial pilots in Upset Prevention and Recovery techniques. Rick Searfoss, Col. USAF retired and a Space Shuttle Commander, works with Flight Research, Inc. and said part of his duties there include instructing commercial pilots in in both the MB-326 Impala and the Sabreliner.
“Our instruction also includes spins, including my favorite, tailslide entry inverted spins in the Impala,” said Searfoss. “It has been interesting for me to observe that although I’ve flown with some very talented pilots, mostly from corporate flight departments, most of them have an exclusively civilian flying background and they have rarely if ever had the chance to fly a jet near the edges of its envelope.  Its very rewarding to give them that training.”
For more information on Searfoss, visit
To see more of the Flying Magazine coverage, visit



Oldest Boeing Airliner in Flying Condition is Restored

The 1928 airplane is in Spokane , WA , and is the oldest flying Boeing in the World.

After 8 years of repair and rebuilding and 8,000 hours of toil the Boeing 40C rolled out last winter as a finished airplane. They had to wait a few weeks for the snow to melt to fly this baby. They received their Standard Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA and completed the engine pre-oil and fuel flow tests for the first of the taxi tests.

Tuskegee Airman recalls the era of the ‘Lonely Eagles’

By Gary Walker

Their story is part of the fabric of American military history, acknowledged only after persistence by historians and their admirers relentlessly pushed the United States government to recognize their achievements.

Edward Tillmon and some his fellow Tuskegee Airmen were recently honored at Venice Beach nearly 70 years after their service in World War II. Photo by Jorge M. Vargas Jr.

Their bravery during some of World War II’s most critical battles has been recognized by aviators and presidents, and some believe their actions in a time of war convinced President Harry S. Truman to desegregate the military in 1948.

01.18.2011 In the News No Comments

Pentagon Shifting Strategy on Bioterror Defense

Jenna Lee asks Col. Randall Larsen, a former director of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission, about how realistic a bioterror attack is on the U.S. — Can the U.S. respond to this kind of attack?