Sheppard Savings - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Sheppard Savings

Fuel saving initiatives at Sheppard Air Force Base could possibly put money back into the hands of tax payers.  Fuel saving methods have been used on larger aircrafts, but never on the smaller ones like the T-6 Texan II.

"We here at Sheppard and I can certainly speak for the 80th Flying Training Wing have a very cost conscious culture," said T-6 Instructor Pilot, Captain, Dan Gruben.

The cost conscious culture at Sheppard A.F.B. was reason enough to give T-6 Texan II pilots an idea.

"What if on the days where we have beautiful weather and we take off with an excess of gas, we take some of that out.  It could reduce weight and in fact lead to less fuel consumption," said Gruben.

Less fuel consumption on aircrafts means possibly saving around $150,000.00 at Sheppard per year.

"We're looking to see if we can put some money back into tax payer's pockets while at the same time reduce our environmental impact.  On a beautiful day, when you come up and you land with way more gas than what you need, you start to think, can we do better especially when the taxpayers are footing the bill," said Gruben.

The fuel saving test is only being done on Sheppard's T-6 Texan II aircrafts.

"It is one of the smaller ones.  It's a two-seater, so the instructor pilot usually sits in the back and the student usually sits in the front.  We plan to do eight flights in total flown as a two ship formation.  It will be four formation flights, so two yesterday and two today," said T-6 Instructor Pilot, Captain, Jami Gunnels.

On Tuesday, at about 14,000 feet in the air, the T-6 Texan II holds about 120 gallons of fuel.  The goal of fuel saving at Sheppard is to accommodate these initiatives and save as much money as possible.

"This is all brand new unchartered territory.  It is potential savings that require nothing more than us changing our subtle mannerisms every single day," said Gruben.

The T-6 Texan II instructor pilots and the rest of the Fuel Saving Initiative team have been looking into ways to save fuel since May of 2013. The fuel savings do not add any additional costs to the base because it doesn't require any new equipment or training.

The Fuel Saving Initiative team plans to have the results of the test flights by the end of this week.

Taylor Barnes, Newschannel 6
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