The Lockheed-Martin F-35A Lightning II fleet at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, passed a significant milestone on 5 February 2015 when Major Jordan Carvell took to the sky for a test mission. A pilot with the 706th Fighter Squadron and assigned to the 53rd Test and Evaluation Group, “Quatro” flew the 500th Operational Test (OT) sortie since the F-35 first arrived at Nellis on 6 March 2013.
The aircraft he flew was 09-5007, currently the flagship of Major General Jay Silveria, commander of the United States Air Force Warfare Center. Carvell was helping conduct new software evaluation with another F-35 during the mission, which was flown in the R-2508 Complex in southern California–just a short “drive” to the west from Nellis.
Carvell is a 2009 graduate of the United States Air Force Weapons School with almost 1,800 hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, and has been flying the F-35 for less than a year. He actually maintains a dual-qualification in both the Viper and F-35 for his duties at the 53 TEG.
Our congratulations go out to the Lightning II community at Nellis for this big step toward initial operational capability. Keep up the great work!