First 1,000-Hour Raptor Rider

Air Force Reservist Lt. Col. David Piffarerio became the first pilot to exceed 1,000 flight hours in the F-22 Raptor on a recent check ride from JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. “This is a great milestone for the pilots, maintainers and contractors working on the jet and the F-22 program as a whole,” said Piffarerio, commander of AFRC’s 302nd Fighter Squadron, an associate unit of the active duty 3rd Fighter Wing at JB Elmendorf-Richardson. “More important to me than this milestone is that the F-22 fleet is safely in the air and accomplishing the mission,” he added after the record sortie, Nov. 4. Piffarerio began flying the Raptor at Nellis AFB, Nev., in 2002 as part of USAF’s operational evaluation team. Piffarerio, who previously flew F-15Es, has served in a variety of roles flying the F-22. (Elmendorf report by Capt. Ashley Conner)