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.
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.
Meanwhile, pilots at the base have started on the verybasics of employing the F-35 as a weapons system… Read the full article here.