SUN LAKES AERO CLUB

SUN LAKES SPLASH ARTICLE

FEBRUARY 1, 2010

BY GARY VACIN, PUBLICITY DIRECTOR

 

            Capt. Robert Hansel, an F-16 instructor pilot stationed at Luke AFB, was guest speaker at the Sun Lakes Aero Club meeting December 21.  Capt. Hansel gave a power point presentation about the Luke AFB mission.  He noted that the base was named after Lt. Frank Luke, a Phoenix native who scored 18 victories during World War I, including 14 German observation balloons over the skies of France before being killed at age 21.

 

            Capt. Hansel traced the base’s history from its beginnings in 1941 as an advanced training base for AT-6 pilots to its current status as a training facility for F-16 fighter aircraft.  During World War II, Luke AFB was the largest fighter training base in the Army Air Forces, graduating more than 12,000 fighter pilots in P-40, P-38 and P-51 aircraft.  Deactivated in 1946 following the war, the base was reopened in 1951 when the Korean War broke out, offering training in F-100 aircraft.  More recently, the base began specializing in F-4 fighter training in 1971 and received the F-15 in 1974 and the F-16 in 1982.

 

            The Sun Lakes Aero Club meets the third Monday of the month in the Sun Lakes Country Club Mirror Room beginning with refreshments and camaraderie at 6:30 p.m., followed by the meeting at 7 p.m.  The public is invited to all meetings.  Additional information is available at the club’s web site, www.SunLakesAeroClub.org or by calling Walch at 895-8869 or Al Galvi, vice-president, at 802-0104.

 

 

Capt. Robert Hansel, who spoke to the Sun Lakes Aero Club in

December, is an instructor pilot at Luke AFB.  He

flies F-16 fighter aircraft like the one shown above.