HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Jan. 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Hill Air Force Base will be conducting evening training Monday through Friday this week.
“Starting Monday, we’ll be flying later in the evening at @HAFB, with last landings between 9-9:30 p.m until Friday,” said a tweet from the 388th Fighter Wing. “Not truly late, like the summertime, just a heads up.”
In a video, Lt. Col. Yosef Morris, an F-35 pilot at Hill Air Force base, says: “Our mission with the F-35s involves deploying the aircraft quickly to anywhere in the world then being ready to employ those aircraft in combat very soon after we arrive. And so that mission might require us to fly at night and as a matter of fact the way that the aircraft is designed and many of the missions that we do, we prefer to fly at night in actual combat because it makes us harder to see.
“So as a result of that we have to train at night as well. We do try to minimize flying at night and typically we won’t fly at night any later than we have to.”
Morris says when pilots do fly at night it’s typically for a week or two weeks at a time at most.
“We strive to make our take offs just after the sun sets and we’ll typically fly for about an hour and a half to two hours and then land, so with the sun setting to late in the summer, we’re not generally flying at night in the summer months; the majority of the night flying will be in the winter when the sunset happens much earlier, around 5 or 6 p.m., to minimize the late night impact of that night flying.”
On a normal day HAFB will fly 40 to 50 flights per day, the video says, but during certain times of the year, there are surge operations, which means pilots will practice flying as many sorties per day as possible to prepare for combat operations. Three or four times a year, pilots will fly upwards of 100 flights per day for three or four days.
For the full video click here.