Williams' fini flight wraps up 13-year Academy tour

Lt. Col. Noel Williams (center) shares a moment following his final glider flight with wife Michelle and teammate Mark Matticola, U.S. Air Force Academy instructor pilot. Recently promoted to colonel, Williams will serve as a special assistant to the 340th Flying Training Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Col. Noel Williams (center) shares a moment following his final glider flight with wife Michelle and teammate Mark Matticola, U.S. Air Force Academy instructor pilot. Recently promoted to colonel, Williams will serve as a special assistant to the 340th Flying Training Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Col. Noel Williams glides over the U.S. Air Force Academy football stadium during his December fini flight. Recently promoted to colonel, Williams will serve as a special assistant to the 340th Flying Training Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Lt. Col. Noel Williams glides over the U.S. Air Force Academy football stadium during his December fini flight. Recently promoted to colonel, Williams will serve as a special assistant to the 340th Flying Training Group commander. (U.S. Air Force photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas --

Lt. Col. Noel Williams, 70th Flying Training Squadron, U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado, landed his final Air Force aircraft, the TG-16A, Dec. 13 at the Academy airfield. His last aerobatic flight - and number 1,306 in a glider - culminated a 13-year stint at the Academy.

 

“Hank’s expertise and leadership has molded thousands of young men and women to become the Air Force’s youngest instructor pilots.  More importantly, his influence has shaped those same young men and women into leaders of character for our Air Force,” said Lt. Col. Jason Cashman, commander, 70th FTS. 

 

Williams served as initial 70th FTS cadre and accepted the TG-16 sailplane into the Academy glider fleet.  He was the Academy’s top soaring evaluator and functional check flight pilot.  Over his 500-plus hours in the glider, he produced 24 International Aerobatic Club Sailplane Aerobatic National Champions and 13 team national championships.

 

Selected for promotion to colonel, Williams will report to the 340th Flying Training Group here, where he will serve as a subject matter expert and special assistant to the commander.