RED WING and BEMIDJI, Minn. – The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Red Tail Squadron, America’s tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, and AirCorps Aviation, specialists in the restoration, maintenance, and rebuilding of vintage World War II aircraft, report the successful return to flight of the squadron’s P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen.
The aircraft, which had been out of commission for eight months to undergo repair following a hard landing, made a successful test flight on Dec. 1, and is expected to return shortly to its mission to honor the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen at air shows and events around the country.
“There were no issues with the test flight and the aircraft flew great,” said Doug Rozendaal, one of the founders of the CAF Red Tail Squadron who piloted the aircraft. “We can now get the P-51 back up in the air where it belongs, inspiring young people to rise above adversity, just like the Tuskegee Airmen. We look forward to filling up our 2017 schedule with air shows and events that will give us the opportunity to fulfill our important mission.”
Supporters of the CAF Red Tail Squadron and warbird enthusiasts have been able to track the process in real time with AirCorps Aviation’s up-to-date status reports and photos on the squadron’s Facebook page.
More than 3,000 hours were logged to get the P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen back in the air.
“I have a long history with the P-51C Mustang Tuskegee Airmen as I was involved in both the first and second restorations,” said Mark Tisler, manager of restorations and one of the owners of AirCorps Aviation. “The CAF Red Tail Squadron teaches young people to never allow obstacles or circumstances to stop them from achieving their goals. The two restorations and the repair demonstrate the squadron not only believes those teachings, but also sets an example of how to overcome obstacles.”