Edwards test pilots help train Aggressors

US Air Force test pilots from Edwards AFB, California, recently helped train aviators from the 18th Aggressor Squadron at Eielson AFB, Alaska, on how to push the F-16 to the absolute limits of its flight envelope. 

 ”In most combat air forces, the emphasis is on the global war on terror, dropping bombs and supporting the troops, so they don’t fly in this kind of flight regime very often,” says Major Peter Kasarskis, the 18th Aggressors’ assistant director of operations. “Even if they are highly experienced F-16 pilots, they may not have had this type of flying.”

090914-F-6044B-393.jpgMaj. Andrew Martin, one of the visiting test pilots 416th Flight Test Squadron, says “This is really the only time, probably in their whole career, that they will be able to do these kinds of maneuvers in a structured, scripted environment and practice getting the aircraft back under control.”

The additionally training should help the Aggressor pilots to better replicate enemy “Red Air” during exercises.

090914-F-6044B-318.jpg“It’s good preparation for Red Flag-Alaska and fighting F-22s, but really it’s just good general knowledge to take in an air-to-air fight, which of course is what we are doing in training,” Kasarskis says. “It allows us to understand the aircraft and its capabilities better so we know what we can and cannot do when we get in a fight with somebody else.”

DOD has more on this here.

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