914th hosts fini flight for Seymour Johnson instructor pilot

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joshua Williams
  • 914th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

It wasn’t a typical ‘fini’ flight at the 914th Air Refueling Wing as a visiting evaluator pilot said goodbye to his beloved KC-135 Stratotanker.

Maj. Quentin ‘Q’ Muellar, a reserve KC-135 instructor & evaluator pilot assigned to the 77th Air Refueling Squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., took his final flight on in the Stratotanker on Aug. 18, 2020 marking a new journey as he learns to fly the KC-46 Pegasus. For the past three years, Muellar traveled to Niagara to train members of the 328th Air Refueling Squadron in support of their recent conversion from the C-130 Hercules to the KC-135.

“Because the 328th was going through the transition the pilot force did not yet have the qualifications to be instructor and evaluator pilots,” said Muellar, who has amassed over 6,000 flying hours in the KC-135 across 13 years. “Now, as my home squadron is converting to the KC-46, I can relate to what the folks here went through at Niagara.”

For Muellar – he will always have an affinity for the workhorse of the tanker community, the Stratotanker, which has been providing aerial refueling for over six decades.

“It’s a solid airplane, clearly. It’s lasted for decades and it’s proven,” said Mueller, who during this flight conducted air refueling operations with a U.S. Navy P-8.

The 328th ARS wanted to be sure to send ‘Q’ off with a proper farewell.

“’Q' has been instrumental in getting the 328th Air Refueling Squadron to where we are today,” said 328th Air Refueling Squadron commander, Lt. Col. Ryan Smith. “We are very thankful for 'Q' and his family’s effort and time with us. We also want to thank Seymour Johnson Air Force Base for allowing us to borrow him.”

Muellar will now learn to fly the brand new KC-46 Pegasus. Which serves as the future of aerial refueling.

“It’s been such an honor that they have allowed me to continue to fly with Niagara and them giving me the opportunity to fly the KC-135 this one last time,” said Muellar. “To watch them from day one and to see where they are now has been awesome. The folks at this unit are fully operational. They are deployed down range as we speak and it’s been real cool to watch their transition to the KC-135."