First Eglin F-35C Sortie

Posted 15 August 2013
Photo by Samuel King, Jr.

US Navy Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, the first instructor pilot for Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101) at Eglin AFB, Florida, carried out the squadron’s first training sortie on 15 August 2013. Known as the Grim Reapers, VFA-101 dates back to World War II. The Navy's first pilot training course at Eglin was concluded in January 2013 and the second course began June with seven pilots soon to begin training flight operations in two of the squadron's F-35Cs. Tabert formerly served as an F-35 test pilot at the Naval Air Warfare Center’s Aircraft Division test facility NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

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