posted on Dec, 11 2007 @ 06:23 PM
On a totally unrelated note, there is also an RAF pilot rated as Mission Commander on the B-2. He's actually been involved in several interesting
milestones with the Spirits.
Squadron Leader David Athertun flies with the 13th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, and has deployed to Anderson AFB in Guam with the Group.
As of August 2006 he was the only foreign pilot to ever fly the B-2 (I believe he still is the only foreign pilot to fly it, but am too tired to
double check that).
He was involved in flying a Spirit from Australia back to Anderson after doing an engine running crew change at RAAF Darwin, which was the first time
a B-2 ever landed in Australia.
He oversees long range scheduling for the 13th EBS, including exercises and deployments, so he is not merely here to show the UK flag, so to speak.
He has many interesting things to say, some rather humorous.
His initial experiences flying the B-2 provided some unique moments, for both him and the air traffic controllers at Whiteman AFB.
"We are two nations separated by a common language. During my early days at Whiteman, air traffic controllers seemed to have a lot of difficulty
understanding me on the radio," he said. "When it came to my first flight, apparently one of the controllers in the tower turned to another and
asked, 'Is he hijacking that jet?'"
Sorry to sidetrack the thread, but I thought that was pretty interesting.