Taming the Viper

At Luke Air Force Base, young pilots learn to fly the F-16

Major Brandon “Cracker” McBrayer, an instructor pilot at Luke, merges with a MiG-29 adversary in a flight simulator. One Viper pilot equates flying the F-16 to "driving a Ferrari, whittling a piece of wood, and playing Stratego—all at the same time." (John M. Dibbs)

It Takes Two

(John M. Dibbs)

When strapping on a Viper, the pilot becomes one with the aircraft. Together, they make a world-class fighting machine. “When you get in the jet, you feel like you’re wearing a glove,” says Captain Patrick “Cletis” Pearson.


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