Tags: Christine Mau | air force | F-35 Lightning II | pilot

Female Pilot Chosen to Fly New Air Force Fighter Jet

By    |   Thursday, 07 May 2015 02:05 PM

The U.S. Air Force has a new fighter jet, and one the first pilots picked to fly the plane is a female pilot who is considered one of the most experienced aviators.

Lt. Col. Christine Mau was the first woman to fly the F-35 Lightning II jet this week, CNN is reporting.

Mau has previously flown combat missions in Afghanistan in the F-15 Strike Eagle, and is the current deputy commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing Operations Group at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

She described the experience flying F-35 as a special moment.

"It wasn't until I was taxiing to the runway that it really struck me that I was on my own in the jet," Mau said in an Air Force press release. "I had a chase aircraft, but there was no weapons system officer or instructor pilot sitting behind me, and no one in my ear like in simulators."

"It felt great to get airborne. The jet flies like a dream," she said.

While she recognized that she may be the first female pilot to fly the F-35, she said that being a woman makes no difference in her ability to fly.

"Flying is a great equalizer," Mau said. "The plane doesn't know or care about your gender as a pilot, nor do the ground troops who need your support. You just have to perform. That's all anyone cares about when you're up there — that you can do your job, and that you do it exceptionally well."

Col. Todd Canterbury, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing Operations, said that Mau was chosen to be part of the team flying the F-35 because of her exceptional experience and skill.

"Lt. Col. Mau brings a valuable level of combat and operational knowledge to our team," Canterbury said. "We're nearly a year out from declaring Initial Operational Capability with the F-35. We need battle-tested pilots to help us put the F-35A through its paces and ensure we have a trained and ready force of F-35 pilots to feed into our combat air forces."

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The U.S. Air Force has a new fighter jet, and one the first pilots picked to fly the plane is a female pilot, Christine Mau, who is considered one of the most experienced aviators.
Christine Mau, air force, F-35 Lightning II, pilot
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2015-05-07
Thursday, 07 May 2015 02:05 PM
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