Oklahoma Air National Guard F-16 Pilot Reaches Rare Milestone Of 5,000 Flying Hours in the Mighty Viper – The Aviation Geek Club

Lt. Col. David S. Gritsavage, F-16 pilot, 138th Fighter Wing, achieved 5,000 hours of flight time in an F-16, Sept. 21, 2021, at Tulsa Air National Guard Base, Okla. Gritsavage is the eleventh pilot to accomplish this feat in an F-16, and the first to cross that threshold at the 138th Fighter Wing.
“I started flying F-16s in 1997,” Gritsavage said in an interesting article appeared on News On 6. His call sign is, “Grits.”
“Usually other people pick them for you,” he said. “Luckily I didn’t do anything too stupid, and it kinda goes with my last name.”
Last fall, Grits hit 5,000 flying hours, a milestone only 11 F-16 pilots in the world have accomplished, according to F-16.net.
Out of 29 countries using the F-16, 10 Americans and one Belgian are on the 5,000-hour list.
“It just means my life has been dedicated towards my job, which I love, just like my country,” Gritsavage said.
“That’s what we need when we go to combat. We need that experience to protect our nation,” 138th Air National Guard Base Commander Col. Chad Phillips said.
Col. Phillips credits Gritsavage’s persistence.
“I’ve been in almost 27 years and I just clicked 3,000 hours. So he’s even 2,000 hours above me. Which, his accomplishment is very, very rare,” Col. Phillips said.
Grits and his wife, Regina, who is a flight surgeon on base, moved from Vermont to Tulsa in 2018.
Before the move, Grits had about 4,000 flying hours. About 1,000 of those are combat hours, from a career that has led him all over the world, serving his country.
“Southern Watch, so flying out of Saudi Arabia. And then flying out of Qatar for Iraq. Flying out of Iraq a couple times. Flying in Afghanistan a couple times and Korea a couple times, Japan, or Okinawa a couple times. And then Djibouti once,” Lt. Col. Gritsavage said. “I’m sure there’s a couple more somewhere random in there and then just DACT and training, flag events in Alaska and Vegas and pretty much all over the United States.”
Grits recalled his longest flight, about nine hours.
“So it could be hours of boredom and minutes or seconds of pure excitement,” he said.
Those seconds of pure excitement wouldn’t be possible without the guardsmen on the ground.
Between the air crew flight equipment team, mechanics, maintainers, civil engineers and others, there are hundreds of people working hard every day at the base before each flight takes off.
“And then those guys have to put countless and countless hours onto making sure that that aircraft is airworthy so we can take it out there. And then, that’s all they do. They work hard. If it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to do it,” Gritsavage said.
Since June 1993, after conversion from the A-7D Corsair II to the F-16, the 138th Fighter Wing has participated in Operations PROVIDE COMFORT, NORTHERN WATCH, SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM, NEW DAWN, ENDURING FREEDOM, and FREEDOM’S SENTINEL.
The men and women of the 138th Fighter Wing are proud to continue a tradition of excellence in service flying the F-16C Fighting Falcon – unquestionably the world’s premier multi-role fighter.
Photo credit: Master Sgt. C.T. Michael and Master Sgt. C.T. Michael / Oklahoma Air National Guard
You must be logged in to post a comment.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.

What are you waiting for? Set your Throttles to Full AB and Join The Aviation Geek Club!

This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website.
View the Cookie Policy
The Twitter Tweet button and social widgets are services allowing interaction with the Twitter social network provided by Twitter, Inc.
Place of processing: United States –  Privacy Policy.
YouTube is a video content visualisation service provided by Google Ireland Limited. This service allows this Website to incorporate content of this kind on its pages.
This widget is set up in a way that ensures that YouTube will not store information and cookies about Users on this Website unless they play the video.
Personal Data collected: Tracker; Universally unique identifier (UUID); Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy.
Gravatar is an image visualisation service provided by Automattic Inc. that allows this Website to incorporate content of this kind on its pages.
Place of processing: United States –  Privacy Policy.
Google AdSense is an advertising service provided by Google Ireland Limited. which uses the “Doubleclick” cookie to track the use of this application and the behaviour of the User in relation to the advertisements, products and services offered.
You can disable all the Doubleclick cookies by clicking on: Google Ad Settings.
In order to understand Google’s use of data, please read Google’s partner policy.
Personal information collected: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy – Opt Out.
The Facebook Like button and social widgets are used to interact with the Facebook social network and are provided by Facebook Ireland Ltd.
Personal data that are processed: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy
Google Fonts is a service used to display font styles operated by Google Ireland Limited and serves to integrate such content into its pages.
Personal Information processed: Usage Data; Tracker
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google Ireland Limited (“Google”). Google uses the Personal Data collected to track and examine the use of this Application, compile reports on its activities and share them with other services developed by Google.
Google may use your Personal Data to contextualize and personalize ads in its advertising network.
This Google Analytics integration anonymizes your IP address. The anonymization works by shortening the IP address of the Users within the borders of the member states of the European Union or other countries that are members of the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases, the IP address will be sent to Google’s servers and shortened within the United States.
Personal Data collected: Tracker; Usage Data.
Place of processing: Ireland –  Privacy Policy – Opt Out.


A propos de l'auteur

Avatar of Backlink pro
Backlink pro

Ajouter un commentaire

Backlink pro

Avatar of Backlink pro

Prenez contact avec nous

Les backlinks sont des liens d'autres sites web vers votre site web. Ils aident les internautes à trouver votre site et leur permettent de trouver plus facilement les informations qu'ils recherchent. Plus votre site Web possède de liens retour, plus les internautes sont susceptibles de le visiter.


Map for 12 rue lakanal 75015 PARIS FRANCE