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LISTEN: Kristien Wolfe, pilot of Air Force’s newest toy — the F-35 Lightning II — on everything from Top Gun to selfies while flying



The F-35 Lightning II parked at the La Crosse Regional Airport on June 10, 2021, in preparation for the Deke Slayton Airfest.

We got all the important questions in on the F-35 Lightning II fighter jet team that’s one of the main attractions this weekend at the Deke Slayton Airfest.

Major Kristin “Beo” Wolfe and Technical Sergeant Tim Erickson visited the WIZM studio on La Crosse Talk PM to discuss everything from their feelings on the movie Top Gun to taking selfies and texting while flying.


We also asked their impressions on first seeing the La Crosse area from the air and if the Blue Angel pilots are jealous she’s flying this brand new, fresh off the shelf $80-million jet that cost over $1.5 trillion over decades in production.

If you looked up at all Thursday, you surely noticed the Blue Angels overhead. You’ll see more of that Friday, as all the performers for the Airfest go through a practice run.

Dave Larsen, with the Deke Slayton Airfest, said the pilots were just getting a lay of the land — or the air — Thursday in preparation for the Saturday and Sunday airshow.

The F-35s flew in Thursday just before noon, if you noticed a pair of jets that weren’t blue flying overhead.

After Wolfe and Erickson talked about the experience with the F-35, Larsen and Airfest announcer Phil Dacy finished off the show, talking about some of the other performers and some of the steps you take to be an airshow performing pilot.

One of the Blue Angels produces smoke, during a practice run Thursday, June 10, 2021, for the Deke Slayton Airfest in La Crosse. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Airfest runs Saturday and Sunday with what looks like nine flying teams.

Tickets can be found at Airfest.com. The airshow will feature some attractions on the ground, as well as in the air, including the F-16 Viper, pictured below.

An F-16 Viper sits on the tarmac at the La Crosse Regional Airport on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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