Air Force pilots punished for unauthorized stopping to pick up a classic motorcycle

Air Force pilots punished for unauthorized stopping to pick up a classic motorcycle

During a training mission in March 2022, a USAF reserve team was reprimanded for its unscheduled layover on Martha’s Vineyard. According to The Martha’s Vineyard Times, the turn was made on March 25 so that a crew member could ride a classic motorcycle. The crew was part of the US Air Force’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, 403rd Wing.

The Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is the largest aviation group at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. Crew ranks were demoted for all members and administrative steps were taken after the unauthorized layoff. Air Force Reserve crews are required to schedule a flight each month to maintain their qualifications. Off-site training achieves the correct training requirements,” explained Col. Stuart M. Rubio, Commander of the 403rd Wing, in a press release. This personal station was an abuse of government resources. We hold our Reserve Soldiers to the highest standards of behavior, and such actions will not be tolerated.” .

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The landing of the WC-130 Hercules at Martha’s Vineyard is a huge aircraft and it’s understandably caused quite a stir. Also known as Hurricane Hunters, these aircraft perform meteorological reconnaissance missions for hurricanes and weather systems of all kinds to collect data on movement, size, and severity. The five-man crew flew from Kessler to Quonset Air National Guard Base on March 24. They went to Martha’s Vineyard the day after they received a 1970 BMW R75/5. The 403 wing leadership was reportedly unaware of the unauthorized 15-minute shutdown.

The team traveled to Mather, California after an unauthorized layover to purchase specific equipment intended for use in atmospheric operation of rivers. Atmospheric rivers are ring-shaped wisps of concentrated water vapor that stretch across the Pacific Ocean. It is said to be responsible for half of the annual precipitation on the west coast of the USA. On March 27, the wing command learned of the stop and ordered the crew to return to California. Another plane picked them up. The classic BMW remained in California…

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Sources: boston.com, The Martha’s Vineyard Times

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