Flight Training

Whitman with Aviation Instructors

Famous airplane race pilot and engineer S.J. Wittman and his staff.  Wittman was key to the army's selection of OSTC as a training center.

 P2005.24.134. Courtesy of Oshkosh Public Museum.

As part of their studies, cadets received ten hours of controlled flight training. S.J. Wittman of Oshkosh agreed to provide flight instruction through his Wittman Flying Service located at the Winnebago County Airport. Wittman's faculty of thirteen instructors used thirteen Piper Cubs and three Taylorcraft L-2Bs in their courses. Wittman used a curriculum furnished by the War Training Service that required ten hours of dual instruction and a minimum of five hours of ground school instruction. The unit had a great record; after approximately 8,000 hours of flying, no serious accidents occurred.

Cadet Winn Letter

Near the end of his time in Oshkosh, Cadet Austin Winn finds flying to be easy and describes it as a "thrill."  Winn, a farm boy from Tennessee, compares flying to his days in the fields, writing, "it was about the same as a John Deere..."

 Series MS10-45. Courtesy of Murray State University, Pogue Library, Special Collections.

Flight Instructors of the 96th College Detachment

The flight instructors took their work seriously, particularly safety.  The most serious accident that took place under their guidance was a nose-over landing that was due to "tricky wind conditions."   

Wittman Collection. Courtesy of The Experimental Aircraft Association.