F-35 Night Training Continues Into April

Feb 3, 2021, 6:33 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Utahns can expect more F-35 training at night through mid-April, but pilots said they’ll be less likely to hear any more sonic booms like the one that startled residents on the Wasatch Front last week.

Both the 388th Fighter Wing and the 419th Reserve Wing will be out over the Utah Test and Training Range in Tooele County.

While flying in the dark can be more difficult, it’s the time when most of their combat operations happen.

The F-35 is loud and it is fast. The high-tech jet can hit well over 300 mph during takeoff alone.

“I love it. I love flying fighters and I have really enjoyed flying the F-35,” said pilot Johnathan Hassell, who is one of the dozens of pilots stationed at Hill Air Force Base.

He scheduled many of the training missions Utahns will be hearing in the coming weeks around Davis County.

The goal is to be ready to handle combat at night.

“It is a huge factor in what we do. It is also much more difficult at that time,” Hassell said.

They have to be ready to fly in any condition, but most of their operations happen at night and they use thermal or night-vision imaging to see what they’re doing.

A lot of what they do happens beyond the speed of sound.

“We actually fly supersonic quite a bit as part of our normal training, and I know last week there was a sonic boom heard over Salt Lake City. And, to be honest, that was a bit of a surprise for us as well,” Hassell said.

It was a surprise because the test and training range on the west end of Tooele County is usually far enough away to avoid catching residents off guard along the Wasatch Front.

“I’ve been flying fighters for over a decade and I have never heard of a sonic boom being felt or heard, I think it was 50 or 60 miles away from our training area,” Hassell added.

Last week’s inversion was blamed for the unusual distance the boom was heard.

Hassell said for them, going supersonic happens with the simple push of the throttle. “And then it’s almost imperceptible in the cockpit itself,” he said.

While those closest to the base will hear them, he said it’s unlikely that the Wasatch Front will hear those booms again.

“I can’t guarantee that that won’t happen again,” Hassell said. “But my understanding was that was a rather unusual occurrence as far as the weather patterns of that night.”

Most of the training will wrap up between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. It will end on April 9.

Over the past couple of years, all three HAFB fighter units have supported combat operations in the Middle East.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Casey Scott gives first-hand preview of ‘Xtreme Bulls’ event in Nephi

The Juab County Fairgrounds in Nephi are getting ready for a big event this weekend - "Xtreme Bulls 2022."
15 hours ago
Brooke Williams

Utah’s Best Friends Animal Society breaks ground on staff housing project

The Best Friends Animal Society is building 24 housing units for it's employees in an effort to retain staff at their headquarters in Southern Utah.
15 hours ago
(Garland Fire Department)...
Madison Swenson

One taken to hospital after car rolls 100 feet off I-15

A driver was able to get out by themselves after their vehicle rolled 100 feet down into an embankment in Box Elder County.
15 hours ago
(KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Police: Suspect shot, hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with Orem officers

One man was hospitalized after exchanging gunfire with Orem police officers on Thursday.
15 hours ago
(Mark Wetzel/KSL TV)...

Researchers using dirty diapers to develop new autism test

A group of researchers at Brigham Young University is looking for ways to detect autism in children earlier. And they’re using dirty diapers to do it. 
15 hours ago
Tamara Vaifanua

Utah woman helping create diversity, inclusion in tech industry

As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, a Utah woman is creating a space for more diversity in the tech industry.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
F-35 Night Training Continues Into April