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AF’s last serving reciprocating engine flight engineer retires

Here’s a 2011 feature I wrote on the Air Force’s last piston-engine flight engineer in the DoD retiring. I thought for sure back then that the larger, total Air Force would have taken great interest in Chief Reinhart’s retirement and story, and highlighted his career, but the article was not picked up to more extensive circulation; this kind of baffled me many times in my career – what I believed was a nationally essential or unique Airman’s or Soldier’s story to tell was overlooked for no apparent reason. Me, I just could not ignore the end of an era in aviation.


The Air Force’s last serving reciprocating engine flight engineer took his final flight here today at the air base he enlisted at more than 41 years ago.

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Reinert retired from military service at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base Sept. 6 amongst the aviators he served and near the aircraft that he helped fly.

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About the Author

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Hello. I am a prior U.S. Navy sailor and photojournalist serving on active duty with the National Guard – combined, for more than 20 years. This blog features memorable reports from that news pile. I hope to backlog more stories as well as write more. Thank you. - Mike R. Smith

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