Back Into The Cockpit: 70-Year Old Instructor Pilot Flies Again In The B-52 After 28 Years | Aviation

File photo of a U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jacob M. Thompson). In the inset, U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Michael DeVita, 11th Bomb Squadron commander, William Pedeaux, site manager for B-52 academic training, and U.S. Air Force Col. Michael Pontius, 307th Operations Group commander, pose for a photo in the cockpit of a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, May 7, 2024. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Master Sgt. Ted Daigle)

The last time William “Bill” Pedeaux had flown in the B-52 was when he was on active-duty at now defunct Castle Air Force Base, California…almost three decades ago.

Last week, William “Bill” Pedeaux, a contracted academic instructor for the B-52 Stratofortress bomber, took in the familiar surroundings of the B-52H Stratofortress cockpit at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, for the first time in over 28 years.

Pedeaux had last piloted the iconic bomber during his active-duty days at the now-closed Castle Air Force Base, California and nowadays, he spends his time teaching student pilots how to fly the bomber in a flight simulator at the jet’s Formal Training Unit (FTU).

During his active-duty years, the New Orleans native, now 70 years old, participated in intense bombing runs at 800 feet, flying in formation with other B-52s.

Today, the B-52 retains its capability for…


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