HomeNewsArticle Display

A Day in the Life of an F-35A Lightning II pilot

Side view of a man sitting in the cockpit of a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, prepares for take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Checkered Flag 21-2 is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth-generation aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle and fifth-generation airframes like the F-35 to enhance mobility, deployment and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Man walking

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, walks toward the flightline at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Zillweger volunteered to participate in a social media segment during Checkered Flag 21-2 to show what a day in the life of an F-35 pilot consisted of. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Side view of a man sitting in the cockpit of a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, prepares for take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Checkered Flag 21-2 is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth-generation aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle and fifth-generation airframes like the F-35 to enhance mobility, deployment and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Man looking at a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, performs a pre-flight inspection at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Pilots must perform routine inspections to ensure their jets are mission ready before take-off. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Man using a ladder to climb into a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, climbs into an F-35 at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021.The 34th FS participated in iteration 21-2 of Checkered Flag, a large-scale aerial exercise hosted by Tyndall designed to integrate fourth and fifth generation airframes and enhance the capabilities of aviators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Men standing at a desk

U.S. Air Force Airmen assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, receive a pre-flight briefing at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 34th FS participated in iteration 21-2 of Checkered Flag, a large-scale aerial exercise hosted by Tyndall designed to integrate fourth and fifth generation airframes and enhance the capabilities of aviators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

An F-35 aircraft taxing on a runway

A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 34th Fighter Squadron, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxis on the flightline at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. The 34th FS participated in iteration 21-2 of Checkered Flag, a large-scale aerial exercise hosted by Tyndall designed to integrate fourth and fifth generation airframes and enhance the capabilities of aviators. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Side view of a man sitting in the cockpit of a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, prepares for take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Checkered Flag 21-2 is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth-generation aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle and fifth-generation airframes like the F-35 to enhance mobility, deployment and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

Sideview of a man sitting in the cockpit of a plane

U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger; 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot; prepares for take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Checkered Flag 21-2 is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth-generation aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle and fifth-generation airframes like the F-35 to enhance mobility; deployment and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- U.S. Air Force Capt. “Murf” Zillweger, 34th Fighter Squadron F-35A Lightning II pilot, prepares for take-off at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, May 20, 2021. Checkered Flag 21-2 is a large-scale aerial exercise designed to integrate fourth-generation aircraft like the F-15E Strike Eagle and fifth-generation airframes like the F-35 to enhance mobility, deployment and employment capabilities of aviators and maintainers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price)