First Female Viper Demo Team Leader Booted After 2 Weeks

National News

The first woman pilot to head the F-16 Viper demonstration team was reportedly relieved of command just two weeks after her appointment was announced in a glitzy social media blitz.

Capt. Zoe Kotnik — who’d been hyped as the Air Force’s own “Captain Marvel” — was pulled Monday because of a “loss of confidence in her ability to lead and command” the team, Air Force Times reported.

The announcement came in a statement from Air Combat Command spokesman Col. Allen Herritage, who released no other details citing privacy concerns, the news outlet reported.

There was no immediate comment from Kotnik.

The F-16C pilot whose call sign is “SiS,” was certified as the Viper team leader by ACC commander Gen. Mike Holmes on Jan. 29. 

According to Air Force Times, she graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2011, earned her wings in 2013, and has more than 1,000 flying hours in military aircraft. She deployed to Kunsan Air Base in South Korea for a year, from Feb. 2015 to Feb. 2016. She also has flown air defense missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

Her selection was announced in a tweet that gave a nod to the advertising campaign for the Marvel Studios movie “Captain Marvel,” which depicts a superhero who starts out as a female Air Force fighter pilot.

Her first show as part of the Viper team’s 2019 schedule was to be at Naval Air Station Key West in Florida, on March 30 and 31.

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