The F-35’s First Flyover

Four F-35As from the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz., flew over the University of Phoenix stadium on Jan. 25 to kick off the NFL’s Pro Bowl, marking the first public flyover for the strike fighter, according to Air Force officials. Lt. Col. Michael Ebner, commander of the 61st FS, led the formation. “Every flight takes a team, and this one is no different,” said Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James via Twitter as the crew prepared to fly. The aircraft first flew a training mission to the Barry M. Goldwater Range in northern Arizona before heading to the University of Phoenix stadium, Luke spokesman Capt. Ryan DeCamp told Air Force Magazine. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh also took to Twitter, calling the sound of the planes over the stadium “the sound of freedom.” (Watch the YouTube clip of the flyover.)