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    Flying Yankee wing king flies Fini Flight

    Flying Yankee wing king flies Fini Flight

    Photo By Tech. Sgt. Tamara Dabney | Fire trucks spray arcs of water over a C-130 Hercules aircraft piloted by Col. Frank...... read more read more

    BRADLEY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Conn. Air Force aviators call it the “fini-flight.” It is the final flight an aviator flies during his or her career. After flying more than 4,370 hours, Col. Frank “Crank” Detorie, the 103rd Airlift Wing Commander (who would later the same day turn over the reins to his successor,) flew his fini-flight November 4 at Bradley Air National Guard Base, East Granby, Connecticut.
    Detorie’s family and friends joined members of the 103rd, gathering on the flight line to watch him fly over Bradley one last time. Detorie had never imagined what his last day flying would be like, but from the pinning of his wings to every mission he flew thereafter, every moment had led up to the momentous fini-flight. It was an experience that Detorie said he’ll never forget.
    “The truth is, it’s not something you put a lot of thought into at the end of a military flying career, but the way the day turned out and the way the wing turned out in support of that event was really kind of eye-watering to me,” said Detorie. “It was awesome. That’s the best word to describe it. It was thrilling. It was fun. It wasn’t a sad event for me at all. It was just a real pleasure and thrill—one that I’ll always remember.”
    Officially documented during the Vietnam War, the fini-flight is an Air Force tradition that can be traced back to World War II. The Connecticut Air National Guard is keeping the tradition alive.
    People cheered as they watched the C-130H, piloted by Detorie, zip through the air. Then, as is customary upon landing after a fini-flight, the plane taxied onto the flight line under arches of shooting water. Detorie parked the plane, peered out of the cockpit window and waved to the cheering crowd below. Upon exiting the aircraft, he was immediately doused with water and champagne by members of his family and fellow Flying Yankees.
    The fini-flight was a celebration of Detorie’s illustrious flying career and marked the end of his tenure as Wing Commander, a position he’d held since March 2009. Standing outside of the plane and soaking wet, he thanked the people who came to witness his final flight; they were the people who inspired him for more than eight years.
    “I came into the job not really knowing what to expect,” Detorie said. “I never expected to be so inspired by the men and women of the Flying Yankees. When future generations of Flying Yankees have the opportunity to serve—the chance to go Fly, Fight and Win the way we do today, they’re going to look back at this period.”



    Date Taken: 11.04.2017
    Date Posted: 01.03.2018 13:55
    Story ID: 261247
    Location: EAST GRANBY, CT, US 

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