Over the Horizon: An F-35 Pilot's View
Mar 19, 2024 7:00 AM
Colonel Pete Cossette, USAF
Over the Horizon: An F-35 Pilot's View

We’re delighted to have Colonel Pete “Bolt” Cossette back for another look at the world of an F-35 fighter pilot from his two decades of experience.

A graduate of the United States Air Force Academy in 2003, Pete later earned his Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  He went through flight training in Columbus Mississippi, and earned a slot to fly the F-16 Falcon, which brought him to Luke AFB for the first time.  Pete completed his F-16 training, and then headed back to the Air Force Academy chapel to marry Academy classmate Sarah Halberg just a few days before they reported to Mountain Home AFB in Idaho.

Their next assignment was Aviano AFB near Venice, Italy, then Osan AFB near South Korea’s de-militarized zone.  After two years there, Pete requested Luke AFB, served as an F-16 flight instructor, and then transitioned to the F-35 early in that program.  The mission of Luke AFB is to train the world’s best fighter pilots, and as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Program has other member nations, Pete trained and evaluated not just our own pilots, but those from other member nations as well.  He has also delivered F-35s to other countries..

Pete and his family are longtime Verrado residents, and he is a board member of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, and also of the West Valley Mavericks who raise significant funding to support those in our community who need it. Until very recently, Pete was an avid ultra-marathoner, and in a couple months, will be doing a rim to rim to rim hike at the Grand Canyon…all in one day!  Pete is a superb cook, and most of all, a world class son, a great husband to wife Sarah, and a superb Dad to Roman and Sophia.