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.”