Warner Robins alum returns home with the Thunderbirds

Warner Robins alum returns home

The Air Force Thunderbirds dazzled spectators this weekend at the Thunder Over Georgia Air Show, and tagging along with them was an important team member who calls Warner Robins home.

Trey Whitely graduated from Warner Robins High School in 2008, and then served in the Air Force doing aircraft structural maintenance.

Almost two years ago, he joined the Thunderbirds as a Crew Chief.

"Me and this gentleman behind me, we actually own this aircraft," said Whitely. "This is our jet, this is our baby. We service it, clean it, make sure everything is good to go, and safe and ready to fly."

Whitely says the Thunderbirds squadron is made up of 135 people and 10 aircrafts, but only 70 people and eight aircrafts travel for the air shows.

"We travel around 220 days a year," said Whitely. "So between March and November, every single weekend we're in a different city."

Out of all the cities Whitely has been, he says Warner Robins is the most special.

"I'm glad it was this weekend and I could have all my friends and family come out and really get to be a part of this with me," said Whitely. "It's pretty awesome to be able to share my experience with them as well."

Before a show, Whitely says each aircraft requires about an hour and a half of maintenance. After aircraft service, the Thunderbirds are ready to take off.

Whitely says the aircrafts are usually flown six days out of the week, and therefore, require more service than other aircrafts.



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