F-35A Instructor Pilots Qualify In Aerial Refueling | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Airborne Unlimited-
Monday

Airborne-Unmanned w/AUVSI-
Tuesday

Airborne Unlimited-
Wednesday

AMA Drone Report-
Thursday

Airborne Unlimited-
Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.21.18

Airborne-UnManned 05.22.18

Airborne 05.23.18

AMA Drone Report 05.24.18

Airborne 05.25.18

Airborne-YouTube

Airborne 05.21.18

Airborne-UnManned 05.22.18

Airborne 05.23.18

AMA Drone Report 05.24.18

Airborne 05.25.18

Fri, May 24, 2013

F-35A Instructor Pilots Qualify In Aerial Refueling

One Calls Flight 'Easiest Tanking Event In My Career'

The initial cadre of F-35A Lightning II instructor pilots qualified in aerial refueling last week, adding another capability for student pilot training at the 33rd Fighter Wing's F-35 Integrated Training Center at Eglin AFB in Florida. "Eleven pilots had flown 14 refueling missions across the boom with the help of a KC-135 Stratotanker based here all last week," said Col. Andrew Toth, the commander of the 33rd Fighter Squadron. "Prior to this, only test pilots had done so."

The pilots discovered refueling the F-35 was an easy process, given the stability of the jet in flight and the preparation they received flying aerial refueling missions during ground school with the high-fidelity F-35 full-mission simulator. Pilots have said there were times they forgot they were in a simulator, given its realistic feel amplified by a 360-degree view of the air and ground projected around the pilot.
 
"This was the easiest tanking event I've had in my career," said Toth, who besides spearheading efforts for three branches of service and internationals here is also an F-35 instructor pilot. "The aircraft is very stable and smooth, making it easier to connect with the boom than I had experienced with flying other weapons systems."
 
Toth said he foresees the new lieutenants, fresh out of initial pilot training, to have the same positive experience one day as well -- But for now, the seasoned operators and maintainers are carrying the load.
 
Laying in a pod in the belly of the KC-135, the operator maneuvering the boom to offload gas to formations of fighters chimed in with the same observations about the Lightning II and the pilots' performance. "He basically parked the aircraft 50-feet behind us at 310 knots," said Staff Sgt. Joe Parker with the 336th Air Refueling Squadron at March Air Reserve Base, CA.
 
Parker has refueled about 30 different aircraft, ranging from "F-16 (Fighting Falcon)s to C-5 (Galaxies) and everything in between," in his almost 10-year career. This includes the F-35s performing test missions at Edward Air Force Base, CA. "The F-35 is like a breath of fresh air when they come up to refuel because I know they are going to be an incredibly stable platform in the air refueling envelope," he said.
 
With the instructor pilots trained, the 58th Fighter Squadron has incorporated the aerial refueling capability into F-35A Student Pilot Class Number 4, which began training May 20, and is anticipated to be complete in approximately two months, Toth said. Students execute the flying curriculum in the latter month. Those F-35A pilots who have graduated will get top-off training to fly aerial refueling at their unit -- just like the test pilots who recently graduated from Eglin AFB and are assigned to Edwards AFB.
 
For the future, flying unit members at Eglin said they welcome the new capability because they can now train longer and in essence "knock out two training sorties," Toth said. "A formation can conduct air-to-air combat training, go to the tanker, get gas and conduct an air-to-air or air-to-ground training mission."
 
Pilots and other aircrew alike seem to be impressed with the expanded training events and the performance of the joint strike fighter. "It's always a privilege to work with any new airframe," Parker said. "I am fortunate enough to also be a part of F-35 flying."
 
ANN salutes Maj. Karen Roganov 33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

(USAF image)

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Michael Goulian Takes World Championship Lead To Chiba's Red Bull Air Race

Seasons Third Stop Set For This Weekend In Japan Hot on the heels of Qualifying win and third-place race result at Cannes, France, this weekend American pilot Michael Goulian will >[...]

Search For MH370 To Be Suspended

Malaysian Government Says It Has No Plans To Continue Beyond May 29 The Malaysian government has announced that it will end its search for the main wreckage of MH370, a Malaysian A>[...]

Airborne 05.23.18: KSMO Legal Woes, B777X Folding Wingtip, #OSH18COOL Campaign

Also: 2nd ERAU Arrow Wing Cracked, Memphis Airport, Orbital ATK Launch, Flexjet Pilot Salaries Last week, representatives from the City of Santa Monica and the FAA sat before a jud>[...]

Airborne-Unmanned 05.22.18: Aurora ACUS, Horsefly Delivers, K2 LEO UAS

Also: Aero-TV: Textron's X5-55, InfraDrone App, NASA's Mars Helicopter, Gremlins on Track This month, Aurora’s Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) successfully del>[...]

ANNouncement: Now Accepting Applications For Oshkosh 2018 Stringers!!!

An Amazing Experience Awaits The Chosen Few... E-I-C Note: There's very little we can say yet, but there is a reason why this may be THE year to throw in with ANN to cover the extr>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2018 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC