First ANG pilot starts transitioning to the F-35

Major Jay Spohn, the 33rd Operations Group’schief of Standards and Evaluation, had his first F-35 flight yesterday. Heneeds to complete five more rides before he becomes fully qualified as aninstructor in the jet. What’s unique about Spohn is not that he’s a WeaponsSchool grad or that he flew both the Fairchild Republic A-10 Warthog and BoeingF-15C before transitioning to the F-35, but rather that he is the Air NationalGuard’s first F-35 driver. 1st_Guard_F-35A_Jul_16_-_launching_w_-_F-16_chaseSMITH3.jpg

Here is a series of photos taken by his instructor pilot LtCol Eric “Emmitt” Smith, the 58th Fighter Squadron director ofoperations, of his first flight. Smith is also one of the very firstF-35A-model test pilots. Smith took these shot from the back of a Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon. 1st_Guard_F-35A_flight_Jul_16_2012SMITH.jpg

1st_Guard_F-35A_Jul_16_-_clouds_&_undersideSMITH@.jpgMeanwhile, pilots at the base have started on the verybasics of employing the F-35 as a weapons system… Read the full article here.1st_Guard_F-35A_Jul_16_-_over_rangeSMITH4.jpg

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