In an interview at Eglin AFB, Lt. Col. Lee Kloos, the first non-test pilot to start his transition to the F-35 discusses the experience. Kloos has 2000 hours of flight experience on the F-16 and is a USAF Weapons School graduate.
Kloos started his F-35 training at Eglin last October. The training ran from January to October and culminated in engine runs and taxi trials. But because of the delay in military flight release, he did not get to fly the jet until May 8th. That was when the USAF Aeronautical Systems Center allowed non-test pilots to fly the aircraft.
“For how big the airplane is in weight and overall size compared to an F-16, I thought it was very well balanced, powerful, and very easy to fly,” he says.