TacAir News and Views

Cockpit Video of ITPS Flight in a TacAir NF-5B

The president of the International Test Pilot School (ITPS), Giorgio Clementi conducts an evaluation flight in a Tactical Air Support, Inc (TacAir) NF-5B with a TacAir instructor pilot, Will Price in the aft cockpit. The flight took place in October 2014 from TacAir’s Jacksonville facility.

Botswana Fighter Pilot Training

Tactical Air Support Inc., a Reno company that provides training and consulting for military air organizations, has begun the second, eight-week phase of training for pilots of the Botswana Air Force.
The training in the African nation includes tactical skills such as bomb and rocket weapons delivery, tactical formation, basic fighter maneuvering and fighter squadron management techniques. Click HERE to see the full article in the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

TacAir F-5 Weapons Training with the Botswana Defense Force

Tactical Air Support, Inc. is continuing OCONUS tactical F-5 training with the Botswana Defense Force. Last week’s training was highlighted by BDU-33 and 2.75″ rocket training.

Transonic-Supersonic Qualitative Evaluation

December 2013 – Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) is contracted to support National Test Pilot School (NTPS) in Mojave, CA with pilots and a Northrop NF-5B aircraft, performing a qualitative evaluation of transonic-supersonic flight. This series of flights will demonstrate the stability and flight characteristics of the F-5 in the transonic to supersonic regime.

The primary objective of NTPS (established in 1981) is to train test pilots and flight test engineers for the U.S. and its allies. The flights that TacAir will provide are considered a vital part of the curriculum for the NTPS students.

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Aircraft, like the F-5s shown above, capable of operating over a large speed range with satisfactory stability and control characteristics have obvious tactical and logistical advantages. TacAir not only has the assets, such as F-5s, to fly in these regimes but also provides highly qualified pilots with many years of experience in the flight-test environment.
- By David Macaluso (Tactical Air Support, Inc)

Botswana Fighter Pilots Graduate from Reno Flight Program (KRNV TV Report)

Click on the link below to watch the video.

Training Pilots from Botswana

Click on the link below to watch a KTVN TV report on the training of the Botswana Air Defense Force pilots.

First Live Close Air Support Sorties

September 2013 – Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) demonstrated a critical capability that opens the door for truly cost-effective, live Contracted Close Air Support (CCAS). Flying the Alenia SF-260TP light attack aircraft, TacAir was able to provide a turnkey CCAS solution. With contractor-provided bomb racks, Mk 76 practice bombs with spotting charges, and Original Equipment Manufacturer weapon’s clearances, TacAir operated from a civil airfield under Public Aircraft Operations and delivered light inert munitions on a government bombing range. The TacAir pilot for these sorties, Eric Fippinger, is no stranger to Close Air Support, having recent combat experience as an F/A-18 pilot (and 3d MAW Forward Deputy Wing Commander) in Afghanistan.

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SF-260TP Coming Off Target at USAF Dare County Range

With the increased need for precision air support in military operations around the globe, Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTACs) are more and more in demand. As training and currency requirements for these critical individuals grow, the ability of the military to provide air assets to help train them (such as F-16s, A-10s and F/A-18s) has decreased, resulting in a training gap. TacAir has been working to provide a solution for some time.

TacAir also flies live CAS in the only Embraer A-29 Super Tucano in North America. The Super Tucano is the most capable CCAS aircraft in the industry. It was selected as the USAF Light Attack Support (LAS) aircraft to equip the Afghan Air Force. TacAir is the only commercial provider flying with approved Original Equipment Manufacturer ordnance release authority.

- By Gerry Gallop (Tactical Air Support, Inc.)

Support for Innovative Use of ANG Predator to Fight Wildfires

August to September 2013 – Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) provided safety chase for the California ANG Predator UAVs, playing an important role during the outbreak of wildfires in Southern California. Departing from strictly DoD missions, the Predators were called upon to provide around-the-clock surveillance of the fire boundaries, hotspots, and threatened areas—this required nearly a month of high-priority UAV chase missions to escort the Predators safely to and from restricted airspace and allow the unmanned platforms to safely operate in the National Airspace System.

Since 2010, TacAir has flown 1,600 hours of Predator support missions in their Mooney 20E and Cirrus SR20 aircraft, and in four years has not missed a sortie. TacAir attributes this success to their dedicated team of aircrew flying from the Apple Valley, CA airport, and is proud to support the CA ANG as they continue to find new ways to use their skills and equipment for the benefit of their State.

- By Gerry Gallop (Tactical Air Support, Inc.)

Launch of F-5 Parts Sales Enterprise

July 2013 – To support its growing fleet of F-5 aircraft, Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) completed the purchase and import of all remaining Canadian CF-5 parts, support equipment, and J-85-CAN15 engines. With over 9000 line items, sixty-five J-85 engines, and three warehouses of parts, TacAir has begun the business of warehousing, maintaining inventory, and selling spare parts for the F-5 and its engines. This inventory can provide support for 18 aircraft over twenty years.

- By Gerry Gallop (Tactical Air Support, Inc.)

Companion Aircraft for CA ANG Predator Pilots

February 2013 – The California Air National Guard (ANG) 163d Reconnaissance Wing (RW) awarded Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) a 4-year contract to provide a Cirrus SR20 aircraft, which was produced specifically to match the configuration of the Cirrus model used by the Air Force Academy Flight Screening Program. TacAir manages the ownership, maintenance, instruction, hangar and fueling of the aircraft for the ANG. The 163d RW pilots fly the modern, glass-cockpit equipped SR20, which has similar flight performance as the Predator. This contract will keep approximately 35 ANG pilots current and proficient for the next four years.

- By Gerry Gallop (Tactical Air Support, Inc.)

UAV Chase Contract Renewal

January 2013 – Tactical Air Support, Inc. (TacAir) is awarded option year three on a four-year contract in support of the California Air National Guard’s 163d Reconnaissance Wing (RW). The contract provides four years of Predator UAV chase support. To date TacAir has flown 1600 hours in support of the 163d RW with no missed sorties.

- By Gerry Gallop (Tactical Air Support, Inc.)

Test Flight in the Super Tucano

LTGEN Dave Deptula takes the A-29 Super Tucano for a test flight.
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