Peeking into the Air Force’s F-35 Training Course

First Lt. Brett Burnside soared at Mach 1.4 — 1,075 miles per hour — supersonic in the dead of night over the desert, inverted over his wingman.

As a brand-new pilot, such a feat gave Burnside a burst of adrenaline. What’s more, he was pulling the move in the centerpiece of Air Force‘s future fleet: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“You can practice and practice and practice as much as you want, but when it comes to flying the jet, whether it’s in a train or combat scenario, you have to have the ability to execute,” Burnside told in a recent interview.

“Not to say that all of us are perfect, because we are not by any means perfect at all times,” he said. “We’re always going to have minor errors here and there, but your goal is to limit the impact and frequency of errors every time you go out there.”


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