50 years of service and still going strong! Dale Hopkins is an amazing person and a T-1A Jayhawk simulator instructor with no intentions of retiring anytime soon! The former F-4 pilot is an inspiration!

“I joined the Air Force [on Dec. 30] of 1960, went to Officer Training School, and commissioned on the 29th of March in 1961,” Hopkins said. From there he went through navigation training and bombardier training, to become a navigation officer at Charleston Air force Base, South Carolina.

“I was selected to go to pilot training in 1965, and graduated May of 1966, in class 66-G,” Hopkins said. “After I graduated there I stayed as an instructor pilot.” “The students like him because he’s a more relaxed kind of instructor,” said Pat Wilson, T-1 sim instructor.

“You would have never guessed he had been a colonel,” Wilson said. “You know you’re in the Air Force it’s just go, go, go but this is more of a retirement job, its relaxed and you don’t have to worry about the nuts and bolts, he always jokes that he’ll do this job till he’s one hundred.” – Air Education and Training Command

Featured image of Dale Hopkins, T-1A Jayhawk simulation instructor pilot, briefing two student pilots before a simulated flight by U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Keith Holcomb 

Dale Hopkins, T-1A Jayhawk simulation instructor pilot