202 – Pax River Navy Test Pilot: Trace Bowen

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Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to visit NAS Pax River, a United States naval air station located in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on the Chesapeake Bay.

My friend, Trace Bowen, picked me up in his Cessna 310, flew me to St. Marys Airport, and drove me over to the base for a tour.

Up until that day, I knew very little about Pax River, so it was interesting to learn about the operations there.

The Pax River ITF mission is to effectively plan, coordinate, and conduct safe, secure, and efficient flight test to provide necessary and timely data to support program verification/certification and fleet operational requirements.

Trace is an F-35 Navy test pilot. There are three different variants of the F-35 Lightning, and they fly the B and C variants at Pax River.

It takes some very special gear to fly an F-35, and we learned about that during my visit as well.

CF-2 Flight 456. RTB to and over Wallops Flight Facility. Lieutenant William Bowen was the pilot on 18 June 2016.

What an opportunity it was to visit Pax River! Thank you Trace, for an inspiring and educational day. I really appreciate it!


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