F-16 Viper Demo Team Announces 2019 Demonstration Pilot


The United States Air Force F-16 Viper Demo Team has announced a new demonstration pilot, Major Garret “Toro” Schmitz. This announcement comes three months after the dismissal of Captain Zoe Kotnik, the initial selection for the 2019 demonstration pilot.

For the last three months, Major John “Rain” Waters, 2017-2018 F-16 Viper Demo Team pilot, has been training Major Schmitz and preparing him to take over the role of commander for the F-16 Viper Demo Team. During this training, Major Garret Schmitz has flown 22 training flights and completed over 45 hours of study. Schmitz and the F-16 Viper Demo Team then had to travel to Joint Base Langley-Eustis to complete his fourth and final certification, prior to earning the title of Demonstration Team Commander.

Major Garret “Toro” Schmitz is scheduled to make his first public appearance as F-16 Viper Demo Team pilot at the Westmoreland County Air Show, May 25-26 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.