Grim Reaper Finds His Rage
As he stands at the step desk, you wouldn’t miss the subtle differences in his uniform. His brown leather boots seem foreign next to the sage green ones accompanying him.
As is custom in the 58th Fighter Squadron, pilots roar “RAGE!” throughout the building. However, today this pilot is given a more fitting send off. He begins to turn the corner as a smirk creeps across his face. He nods with approval and marches out of the building as “Danger Zone” blares in the background.
Rather than taking his familiar path to the stenciled grim reaper wielding his sickle; today he will beat his chest and fly with the Mighty Gorillas.
For only the second time at Eglin Air Force Base, a Naval Aviator has been selected to dual qualify in the U.S. Navy’s F-35C and the Air Force’s F-35A.
Lt. Cmdr. Charles Escher, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-101) operations officer, experienced the F-35A for the first time during his initial flight on Dec. 1, followed by a check ride the next week with Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander.