Six Thousand Hours and Counting

Lt. Col. Michael Brill, an Air Force Reserve pilot assigned to the 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Balad AB, Iraq, on May 2 became the first-ever pilot to accumulate more than 6,000 total flight hours in the cockpit of the F-16 fighter. He surpassed the mark during a combat mission over Iraq. “I love to fly. I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else,” said Brill, who is assigned to the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah. “The fact that I’ve flown 6,000 hours of incident-free flying is a testament to an amazing machine and our dedicated maintenance support airmen.” Brill is no stranger to breaking aviation records. In 1993, he became the world’s first F-16 pilot to reach 3,000 flight hours. Five years later, he crossed the 4,000-hour threshold; in 2002, he surpassed 5,000 hours. Six thousand hours equates to 250 days in the cockpit, not counting all the time preparing for the flight and then the post-mission activities. (Balad report by 1st Lt. Lisa Spilinek)