QUINCY, lll. - Air USA made aviation history Dec. 10 when it successfully flew the world's first flights of a MiG-29 Fulcrum in private hands.
Don Kirlin, Naval Aviator and commercial airline pilot, is President and Founder of Air USA. Although Air USA deploys aircraft around the world, Air USA's headquarters are located at Quincy Regional Airport in Illinois. The flight marked the culmination of several years of effort by Air USA. "Believe it or not, it's not easy getting a MiG-29 into the United States and flying. 'Natasha' may be the first but we have three more," Kirlin smiles.
Ex-Air Force pilot and instructor, Fred "Spanky" Clifton, piloted the flights. A retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Clifton flew F-5's, F-15's and F-16's before becoming an exchange pilot flying MiG-29's with the German Luftwaffe.
Once the Mach 2.5 aircraft completes the required FAA authorization process, they will join Air USA's fleet of, Aero L39, L59, Alpha Jet and MiG-21 aircraft already in operation. This fleet of aircraft is used in a variety of dissimilar aircraft operations with the United States Military including live ordnance drops, air intercept training, air defense training, threat simulation, target towing, electronic attack as well as research and development. The MiG-29 remains the most dangerous enemy aircraft to US Troops around the world today.
Air USA was formed in 1994, importing, certifying and providing over 50 foreign military tactical jet aircraft for customers throughout the United States. However, the heart of Air USA's business has been providing Commercial Air Services to the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Canadian Air Force through our Military Division, which was formed in 1999.
Since 2002, Air USA has deployed aircraft to multiple locations on the East Coast and the West Coast, as well as Canada, Hawaii, Okinawa, and Guam. Air USA has delivered a 98.7 percent mission completion rate, accident-free, while on assignments with our Military and corporate customers. Air USA's goal is to provide an array of cost-effective training services to our customers in order to enhance their combat readiness.
Video Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq92ZC5cYoM