Night flying: How the 148th Fighter Wing prepares for takeoff

Ryan Juntti
Updated: September 28, 2020 10:26 PM

The 148th Fighter Wing is continuing their night flying training this week, and it takes the work of a lot of different people to get the fighter jets in the air.   


Aircrew Flight Equipment Specialists like Kyle Pederson conduct pre and postflight inspections of the equipment, making sure it's all in good working order.

"We wear a lot of hats. There's a lot of behind the scenes work in general, not just from us that makes the airplane get up in the air," said Pederson. "The airplane taking off is the result of a lot of work," he added.

Pederson says they also work closely with the pilots.

"It's kind of just a customer service career field where we just want to make sure everything is working properly for them," said Pederson. 

As for the pilots themselves, they have their own preparations before takeoff, fitting and tuning in the night vision goggles in the blackroom using a tester similar to what you see at the eye doctor.

Night flying does present some challenges.

"The number one challenge is now all of those things you take for granted that your vision gives you, all those cues and information, it really necks that down," said 148th Fighter Wing Operations Support Squadron Commander Lt. Col. Scott Prom. 

Another one is the lack of depth perception, so therefore it's all about being ready.

"You have to be much more careful when you're maneuvering the aircraft so that your body doesn't get confused," said Prom.

That's where the training comes into play. The goal of it is to get a tactical advantage over adversaries who may not be as best equipped to fly at night.

"This gives us an advantage over a lot of our adversaries around the world because we're able to train much more aggressively and fly much more aggressively than some of our adversaries are," said 148th Fighter Wing Operations Group Commander Nate Aysta.

Which will better prepare them for the conditions they may encounter overseas while defending our country.

The training started last Tuesday. Up until this Friday, there are going to be between 10 and 12 flights per night, primarily to the Upper Peninsula.

The flights will take off around 8:00 pm, and be on the ground by 11:15 pm.


Ryan Juntti

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