U.S. Jet Team Fouga Magisters at SAR 2006

When I learned the U.S. Jet Team, four French designed and built Fouga Magisters and American pilots would be featured at Springfield Air Rendezvous 2006, I was delighted because the Magister is probably the best looking air show jet flying, and imagined a formation of them would be great. I arranged with a magazine publisher to write a story about the type and looked forward to meeting team founder Scott Lesh. Unfortunately, Scott was recuperating from knee surgery and could not attend SAR 06. The team for our show were

   Left wing: Johnny Hutchison   --                                     -- Right Wing: Rob Hutchison
--    Lead: Todd Schaufenbue    --  

The Hutchisons are brothers and each flies for a major airline. Todd is a full-time air show pilot. When not with U.S. Jet Team, he flies as #3 with the Red Baron Pizza Stearman Team. You could not imagine a friendlier trio. They patiently answered my questions and allowed me to photograph their airplanes all I wanted.
   Historical note: the English airplane company Miles Aircraft made a two-seat propeller-driven trainer called the Magister (rhymes with "register.") which was used extensively in World War Two. The French Fouga company Magister (rhymes with ba gis tear - as in "Tear a strip of cloth from the bed sheet." In both languages, magister means teacher. Curiously, the word does not appear in the 10th Edition of the Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary.  Go figure.

fougaxx4.jpg (15328 bytes)
1. From head on and wingtip to wingtip the three Magisters are so slim, they almost disappear into the horizon.
fougk14.jpg (13654 bytes)
2. A little closer and one om one, it's still a trim machine.
fougaaa9.jpg (22049 bytes)
3. I was lying om my back when I took this picture. Though some of my friends may not believe it, I returned to standing position all by my own dang self!  :)
Fougaaa13.jpg (25665 bytes)
4. A little 28mm lens wizardry. This picture was not retouched.
fougaxx5.jpg (18094 bytes)
5. Friday afternoon, after flying for the preview audience, the team parked in slight right echelon formation.  I was standing on a flat-bed golf cart bed when this picture was taken.
fougaxx6.jpg (19388 bytes)
6. The V-tails are a natural framing element for any letters one can find in the distance.
fougaxx7.jpg (19300 bytes)
7. Note Vlado Lenoch's P-51 in the distance.
usjta17.jpg (10318 bytes)
8.    N325FR
This and pictures 12 and 16 are civil registration numbers of the Magisters flown at SAR 06.
fougaaa4.jpg (19889 bytes)
9. From the AeroKnow collection, this pic of an operational Magister with the French Air Force was taken by Fournier Michel.
fougaaa1.jpg (13730 bytes).
10. Another operational Fench AF bird. Photo by Roberto Lima.

Fougaaa3a.jpg (15388 bytes)
11. This Magister was photographed at a Bloomington, Illinois air show on July 3, 2000.
usjta12.jpg (13473 bytes)
12. N908DM
fougaxx2.jpg (15267 bytes)
fougaxx3.jpg (14955 bytes)
fougk1.jpg (29020 bytes)
15. Team lead Todd Schaufenbue refuels his Magister.
usjta18.jpg (13297 bytes)
fougaxx1.jpg (23906 bytes)
17. Rob Hutchison fills the tank from which smoke oil is pumped to create the white trailing plumes during the team's demos.
usjta1.jpg (20136 bytes)
18. This picture has been retouched.

Fougaxx12.jpg (11544 bytes)
19. On the performer flight line Sunday afternoon, engines have been started. Pilots go through cockpit checks and confirm status with team lead.
Fougaxx14.jpg (16007 bytes)
20. Departomg for the taxiway they will drive to the end or Runway 22 where they will confirm "ready for takeoff" with the control tower.
fougx1.jpg (12551 bytes)
21. Jets rolling . . .
fougx2.jpg (15333 bytes)
22. . . . just a few feet into the air.
fougx3.jpg (5494 bytes)
fougx4.jpg (14322 bytes)
Fougaxx11.jpg (8915 bytes)
Fougaxx10.jpg (9270 bytes)
fougk4.jpg (11888 bytes)
fougaxx9.jpg (8312 bytes)
28. Opposing pass.
fougk2.jpg (13400 bytes)
fougaxx8.jpg (9746 bytes)
30. Note the shadow created by team leader's smoke on the smoke from left wing.
fougx6.jpg (7603 bytes)
fougk3.jpg (22686 bytes)
32. The final "sign off" maneuver as they fly west: banking aircraft fly into each others' track, with safe separation of course.
usjta19.jpg (19715 bytes)
33. I was privilged to ride in leader's aircraft on Thursday.
usjta16.jpg (26612 bytes)
34. Right wing pilot goes through check list before engine start.
Fougaaa4a.jpg (17940 bytes)
35. Passenger in right wing's Magister.
usjta15.jpg (17909 bytes)
36. View from lead before departing the apron.
fougaaa5.jpg (14527 bytes)
37. Left wing before engine start.
Fougaaa19.jpg (17653 bytes)
38. Moments before brake release.
Fougaaa20.jpg (13331 bytes)
39. Left wing just broke ground.
Fougaaa21.jpg (12414 bytes)
40. Left wing slides into tighter formation for climbout.
fougaaa6.jpg (15798 bytes)
41. The formation flown kept wingmen below the Magister's large wing.
Fougaaa24.jpg (15007 bytes)
usjta22.jpg (11543 bytes)
43. Todd passed along my request for left wing to move up a few feet. I didn't have time or presence of mind to ask for a line abreast position.
usjta23.jpg (15890 bytes)
44. A little higher woulld have been perfect, but this is still a good view. I had no idea how long the flight would be, and I guessed (inaccurately) that if the planes were not in position one minute, they would be in the next minute.
fougaaa7.jpg (11559 bytes)
45. Close, but no cigar, and I was too worried about being rude or asking  for too much to  open my mouth and requesting better positioning.
usjta2.jpg (13740 bytes)
46. This picture has been retouched.
Fougaaa16.jpg (12041 bytes)
47. The team separated and each aircraft performed a leisurely slow roll.
fougk5.jpg (9963 bytes)
48. Right wing was considerable distance from lead prior to the call for rejoining formation.
fougk8.jpg (19962 bytes)
Fougaaa26.jpg (12324 bytes)
Fougaaa17.jpg (25516 bytes)
fougk6.jpg (21879 bytes)
Fougaaa22.jpg (20556 bytes)
Fougaaa18.jpg (26855 bytes)
54. Looking west toward the heart of Springfield.
Fougaaa15.jpg (15624 bytes)
55. When I asked about an echelon formation picture, Todd explained there would be only one chance, about 20 seconds long, and this was it.
fougk16.jpg (16277 bytes)
56. The other birds were still on our right wing, but not evident in this view.
fougk15.jpg (20455 bytes)
57. During a pass over the airport, the formation has separated following pitch out, and speed brakes have been deployed
Fougaaa23.jpg (19305 bytes)
58. Looking north down J. David Jones Parkway at the airport in the distance, we are on downwind leg of the traffic pattern.
usjta4.jpg (31207 bytes)
59. The spike in left center is the burial tomb of Abraham Lincoln.
Fougaaa8a.jpg (27905 bytes)
60. Another view of the tomb. Note the speedbrakes remain out.
usjta5.jpg (16911 bytes)
61. Rolling in from base leg to final.
Fougaaa10.jpg (20541 bytes)
62. On final, runway directly ahead.
usjta9.jpg (14335 bytes)
63. Rolling out after touchdown, Capital tower in the distance.
usjta8.jpg (19788 bytes)
64. This picture has been retouched.
usjta10.jpg (17306 bytes)
65. Rob Hutchison poses with the easy rider, a major player in the SAR organization.
usjta11.jpg (21672 bytes)
66. Johnny Hutchison shakes the hand of the fellow who rode with him.
Fougaaa11.jpg (19690 bytes)
67. Job Conger seems to have enjoyed the ride. Photo by Shannon Kirschner.
usjta13.jpg (20267 bytes)
68. Todd Schaufenbue, U.S. Jet Team lead, poses with Job Conger, freelance writher, after a memorable flight. Photo by Shannon Kirschner.
usjta21.jpg (14698 bytes)
69. Settling in for the summer night as sunset approaches.
Fougarxx1.jpg (15016 bytes)

Return to SAR home page here
Return to AeroKnow home here