Air USA at Quincy Regional Airport in Illinois made aviation history Dec. 10 when it successfully flew the world’s first flights of a MiG-29 Fulcrum in private hands.
The flight makes the culmination of several years of effort by the company, which is owned by Don Kirlin, a Naval Aviator and commercial airline pilot. “Believe it or not, it’s not easy getting a MiG-29 into the United States and flying,” he said. “‘Natasha’ may be the first but we have three more.”
Fred “Spanky” Clifton piloted the flights. A retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Clifton flew F-5s, F-15s and F-16s before becoming an exchange pilot flying MiG-29s 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 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, according to company officials, who note Air USA is the first private organization with the ability to provide a MiG-29 for training.
Air USA was formed in 1994, importing, certifying, and providing over 50 foreign military tactical jet aircraft for customers throughout the United States. 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 its Military Division, which was formed in 1999.
For more information: 217-885-3800 or Air-USA.com