Hill AFB Demonstration Team leader very confident in F-35

Dec 6, 2022, 7:26 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — F-35 pilots at Hill Air Force are moving forward at full speed even though the investigation of a crash at the base last October continues.

The Hill F-35 demonstration team is back from some 140 days of travel around the country and a couple of international stops too.

Major Kristen “BEO” Wolfe leads the team.

Their job is to inspire others and help recruit. They are confident in the F-35, not only as a symbol but as a tool that protects our nation.

The F-35 is still very new, it’s fast, and it’s expensive. That’s why it gets so much attention.

“We have complete faith in the jet,”

She and other F-35 pilots put their trust in the technology on a regular basis.

For her, it’s in pulling stunts that share the so-called sounds and sights of freedom.

“Mostly our goal is to show the F-35, get people excited about aviation, flying, military fighter jets. Just to inspire people to fill our shoes one day,” she explained.

Major Wolfe explains why the recent F-35 crash at Hill AFB has not affected her confidence in the jet. (KSL TV) Major Wolfe waits on the runway to be cleared for take off. (KSL TV) After climbing into her F-35, Major Wolfe settles in for her upcoming flight. (KSL TV) An F-35 performs a manuever during Tuesday's demonstration. (KSL TV) A camera inside the cockpit shows Major Wolfe working the controls of her F-35. (F-35 Demonstration Team)

Their mission continued even after the crash at Hill last October.

The pilot ejected safely.

Wolfe said, “Honestly anything in the military, especially aviation is an extremely dangerous job and it has risk and it. But, I don’t know, I have a lot of confidence in this airplane. Especially, we’re flying the newest fifth-generation airplanes out there, which is highly technologically advanced.”

She added, “It’s really important for us to keep training. You know there’s stuff in the world that we need to be trained for every day.”

The F-35 pilots showed what the plane is capable of doing Tuesday, even in the foggy and cloudy conditions.

“I have a lot of faith in this airplane and it’s never made me second-guess it,” Wolfe said.

It could take another month before we hear anything about what caused the F-35 crash.

The F-35 demonstration team will announce its 2023 schedule next week.

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