AJ ‘Cuckoo’ Cucksey honored as the 134th Air Refueling Wing’s Pilot of the Day

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WATE) AJ Cucksey, who was diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors at four-years-old , was honored as the 134th Air Refueling Wing’s Pilot of the Day.

AJ was hosted by the 134th Air Refueling Wing for the initiation of their Pilot for a Day program, and was given the call sign ‘Cuckoo’. They also made him an honorary 134th Crew Chief.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital saying that AJ is an ambassador for them, that’s why they nominated him to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity.

AJ was picked up at the gate by Security Forces escorted to the Operations building and was made an honorary Security Forces member.

During his day, AJ was given: a flight suit with personalized patches, including his call sign, a helmet fitted for him by Air Crew Flight Equipment, and a personalized flight bag.

He experienced many different highlights throughout the day as well.

  • Completed a walk-around inspection of a KC-135R Stratotanker that was painted with his name
  • Performed Crew Chief duties and marshaled the air-craft to the runway where he watched it take off
  • Experienced the Boom Operator Simulator System and learned how to perform in-air refueling
  • Visited the 134th Security Forces Squadron, learned more about their protective equipment and weaponry
  • Visited the 134th Fire Hall, rode in a fire truck, used a fire hose to put on a simulated fire and rescued a simulated victim, sprayed the water cannon on a fire truck

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