Eglin F-35 pilots fly tactical intercepts

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Morale is high at Egline Airforce Base after pilots began tactical training in the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Jan 31. Col Andy Toth, who was present during the first four ship formation that morning, says that “It went well.” 

This success was a sign that the aircraft mechanics on base are learning how to operate the jet themselves without help from Lockheed Martin.

 “We are learning the ins and outs of the aircraft and showing we can handle the maintenance on our own,” says Senior Master Sgt. Eric Wheeler, a production superintendent at the maintenance unit.

Although pilots at Eglin can’t offer much because of the tight restrictions surrounding the aircraft, Toth was able to say that “During takeoff, the acceleration is impressive” but that “you could over-speed the gear very quickly.”





Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.