Janesville56.3°

Craig graduate pilots Air Force plane to AirFest

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Mike DuPre'
May 22, 2008
— If you lived in Oklahoma and were coming home to Janesville for the Memorial Day weekend, you’d fly on a jet to Milwaukee or Chicago.

But if you’re Art Dulin, you’ll fly your own jet into Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport.


Well, actually, it’s a U.S. Air Force jet, but Dulin will fly it home Friday.


“It will be a lot of fun for me to go back home and bring an Air Force jet with me,” said Dulin, a 2000 graduate of Janesville’s Craig High School. “Most people don’t get to come home that way.”


Dulin, 26, will bring a T-1 training jet to the airport for Southern Wisconsin AirFest 2008 this Saturday and Sunday.


Dulin graduated in 2004 from the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. That’s where he met his wife, Erin. They have two daughters, Kaedyn, 2, and Brynn, 8 months.


Dulin, first lieutenant, trains pilots to fly some of the Air Force’s heaviest jet aircraft, C-5 and C-17 transport planes that can transport scores of troops or tons of cargo to anywhere in the world.


After graduating from the Air Force Academy, he trained to be an aviation instructor at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and now teaches other aviators at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla.


“I joined the service to see the Southwest,” Dulin joked in a phone interview.


He will continue in his current assignment until May 2009 but hopes to learn in October that his request to fly a “heavy”—the gigantic C-17—has been granted.


Such an assignment likely would take him overseas for the first time and possibly into the combat zones of Iraq or Afghanistan.


“I’m looking forward to seeing some of that,” he said. “I’m proud that the students I’ve trained are over there now, making contributions.”


Dulin will carve out some time in Janesville to visit with family and friends, but he won’t fly the T-1A during AirFest. Instead, the training jet will be a static ground display.


But four other military outfits will perform for AirFest:


-- The Canadian Forces Snowbirds travel with 11 CT-114 Tutor jets. The team performs precision aerobatics with nine of the planes. Two are backup aircraft.


-- The Air Force also is sending the F-15 West Coast Demo Team.


The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, tactical fighter designed to achieve air supremacy over battlefields.


-- The Navy is sending its F-18 East Coast Demonstration Team, which will show off the capabilities of the all-weather F/A-18 Hornet.


In fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense. In attack mode, the jet is used to support ground troops.


-- The Army’s Golden Knights parachute team will make an encore performance at AirFest.


For more on Southern Wisconsin AirFest 2008, including a schedule and ticket prices, pick up a copy of today's Gazette.

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