Capt. Fiedler Brings Extensive Military and Civilian Flight Experience to Team as New Commanding Officer.
The U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command has announced that Capt. Aimee Fiedler will lead the ACC F-16 “Viper” Demo Team beginning in this coming 2022 air demonstration season. The announcement was made during the annual Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona, on Saturday, March 5, 2022.
Capt. Fiedler advances to the position of team commander and lead demo pilot after already serving as a member of the team and following deployments in the F-16 Fighting Falcon that include service in South Korea. Capt. Fiedler replaces former and long-time F-16 “Viper” Demo Team commander, USAF Maj. Garrett “Toro” Schmitz, who served as the team’s commander and lead demo pilot since 2019. Back then, “Toro” took the commanding position from USAF Capt. Zoe Kotnik, the USAF’s first female single-ship tactical demonstration pilot, who was relieved of her command position as the Air Force’s F-16 Demonstration Team pilot after only two weeks in the assignment for a loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command the team.
Capt. Fiedler said in an announcement on the Air Force Heritage Flight website that, “When you travel to air shows, you are meeting the next generation of fighter pilots and Airmen, and that inspires me to do my job better.” Fiedler went on to say that, “They are the ones that are going to be flying alongside me or trained up to take on this mission after my time is done. We get to show the people we meet that this is an attainable goal and as long as they set themselves up for success, they can do this job.”
The USAF Air Combat Command (ACC) F-16 “Viper” Demo Team inspires airshow audiences and aviation enthusiasts of all ages through flight demonstrations and personal appearances that showcase the Air Force experience and the flight capabilities of the General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcon, often referred to by its nickname, the F-16 “Viper”.
The mission of the ACC F-16 “Viper” Demo Team is significant since it serves as a vital recruiting asset for the U.S. Air Force and showcases the performance of one of the most successful and prolific combat aircraft in aviation history.
Over 4,600 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons have been produced since the aircraft first flew in 1974, and the aircraft is in service with 25 countries in addition to the United States. The F-16 Fighting Falcon has seen combat in service with multiple countries, including Israel, the United States, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Venezuela.
Capt. Aimee Fiedler and the Air Combat Command F-16 “Viper” Demo Team is scheduled to appear at 21 airshows during the 2022 flight demonstration season in addition to other appearances and events.