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Cleared for landing: Shaw welcomes local aviators

Tim Darrah, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft servicer, marshals a civilian Cessna 172, during a General Aviation Fly-in event at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. The event gave the local aviation community an opportunity to land aircraft at Shaw and learn about the 20th Fighter Wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

Tim Darrah, 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft servicer, marshals a civilian Cessna 172, during a General Aviation Fly-in event at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. The event gave the local aviation community an opportunity to land aircraft at Shaw and learn about the 20th Fighter Wing mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Bruton, 20th Fighter Wing flight safety chief, greets James Counts, Cessna 172 pilot, during a General Aviation Fly-in event at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Local aviators received the opportunity to talk to pilots and Airmen about current and future flying conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Bruton, 20th Fighter Wing flight safety chief, greets James Counts, Cessna 172 pilot, during a General Aviation Fly-in event at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Local aviators received the opportunity to talk to pilots and Airmen about current and future flying conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A row of aircraft sit on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Approximately 22 aircraft and 48 visitors arrived on the installation to gain insight on what their military counterparts do on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A row of aircraft sit on the flightline at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Approximately 22 aircraft and 48 visitors arrived on the installation to gain insight on what their military counterparts do on a daily basis. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Bruton, 20th Fighter Wing flight safety chief, briefs local aviators on mid-air collision avoidance at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Civilian pilots received the opportunity to learn about the 20th FW’s flying operations and aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

U.S. Air Force Capt. Kyle Bruton, 20th Fighter Wing flight safety chief, briefs local aviators on mid-air collision avoidance at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Civilian pilots received the opportunity to learn about the 20th FW’s flying operations and aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

Local aviators view an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Participating aviators received the opportunity to view an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice, F-16CM Fighting Falcon static display and attend a mid-air collision avoidance briefing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

Local aviators view an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Participating aviators received the opportunity to view an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice, F-16CM Fighting Falcon static display and attend a mid-air collision avoidance briefing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A local aviator watches an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Local pilots received the opportunity to land their aircraft on the installation and learn about the 20th Fighter Wing’s suppression of enemy air defenses mission as well as attend a mid-air collisions avoidance briefing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A local aviator watches an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. Local pilots received the opportunity to land their aircraft on the installation and learn about the 20th Fighter Wing’s suppression of enemy air defenses mission as well as attend a mid-air collisions avoidance briefing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Air Force F-16CM Fighting Falcon, piloted by Major John “Rain” Waters, Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs an aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. The team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the combat capabilities of one of the U.S. Air Force's premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

A U.S. Air Force F-16CM Fighting Falcon, piloted by Major John “Rain” Waters, Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team commander and pilot, performs an aerial practice at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., July 28, 2017. The team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the combat capabilities of one of the U.S. Air Force's premier multi-role fighters, the F-16 Fighting Falcon. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Maldonado)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The 20th Fighter Wing hosted the second annual General Aviation Fly-in July 28.

Approximately 22 aircraft and 48 visitors landed onto the Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, flightline, to gain insight on the 20th FW mission and how it affects aviators on a daily basis.

“The fly-in not only helps to bolster community ties and foster community outreach, but more importantly it fosters flight safety,” said Capt. Kyle Bruton, 20th FW flight safety chief. “Specifically it (highlights) our midair collision avoidance system.”

Participating visitors had the chance to attend a mid-air collision avoidance briefing, view an F-16CM Fighting Falcon static display and watch an F-16 Viper Demonstration Team aerial practice.

“The main purpose of the (mid-air collision briefing) is to highlight that although we have all these tools available, there are still limitations,” said Bruton. “We need to work together and protect our shared U.S. airspace.”

The briefings and displays also provide civilian pilots with insight on what Shaw’s F-16 pilots do, and how they train to avoid mid-air mishaps, said Bruton.

The wing frequently reaches out to the general aviation community, in an effort to provide local aviators with the information needed to know when and where Shaw’s pilots are going to be flying, said Bruton.

“These are probably the best pilots in the United States,” said James Counts, Cessna 172 pilot and first time GAF attendee. “We learn very well from our local instructors, but these (Air Force pilots) are the highest quality instructors to possibly learn from.”

At the conclusion of the event local aviators departed the flightline with an increased knowledge of Shaw’s flying operations and how to properly react to, and prevent a mid-air mishap.

“I’ve always wanted to see a military base and have never had the opportunity to,” said Counts. “I appreciate the opportunity that the base gave to us (civilian) pilots.”