May 19, 2015 (by TSgt. Dana Rosso ) - Maj. Chad Newkirk, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group, is the eleventh pilot in Air Force history and fourth pilot in the 477th FG to reach 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 during a sortie in April.
Maj. Chad Newkirk, a Reserve F-22 pilot assigned to the 477th FG, is the eleventh pilot in Air Force history and fourth pilot in the 477th FG to reach 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 during a flight in April. [USAF photo by TSgt. Dana Rosso]
"I am thrilled and humbled to have made it to 1,000 hours in the Raptor" said Newkirk. "There is a ton that goes into any pilot reaching this milestone in a relatively young airframe, and I couldn't have done it without all the awesome support from the maintainers and the rest of our ops support folks over the years."
Prior to joining the Air Force Reserve Newkirk spent eight years on active duty flying F-15's and F-22's at Elmendorf AFB
Alaska as well as Langley AFB in Virginia . He separated from active duty in 2008 and returned to Alaska to fly with the Air Force Reserve as a member of the 302nd Fighter Squadron.
Newkirk is now the fourth pilot assigned to the 477th Fighter Group to reach the 1,000 hour milestone. Col. David Piffarerio, 477th Fighter Group commander, was the first in the Group and the entire USAF and Maj. Jonathan Gration, 302nd FS
F-22 pilot, was the second in the Group and the fourth in the USAF.
"I am excited to further increase the overall level of Raptor experience in the Hellions" said Newkirk "and to continue training and employing with our Active Duty partners."
The 477th FG is integrated in every F-22 mission set with their partners in the active duty 3rd Wing.