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The need for speed: F-22 Raptors vist West Plains


Last updated 6/27/2019 at 11:21am

Shannen Talbot

A boom operator from Fairchild Air Force Base focuses as he lines up to refuel an F-22 in preparation for Skyfest 2019.

They don't call him Loco for nothin'.

Major Paul Lopez has been piloting aircraft for 13 years, and has been an F-22 pilot for eight and a half. But don't think it ever becomes routine.

"It's very exhilarating," Lopez said. "The blood is coursing through your veins, the adrenaline is coursing throughout your body, your heartbeat is pumping and you get butterflies every time you get to hit the throttle...and take off."

Lopez, call sign LOCO, was the man behind the jet in Fairchild Air Force Base's Skyfest 2019 Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor demonstration. He says the name came from "being cr...

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