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Written by Kez on 12 Jun, 2007
The plane itself is an ex New Zealand Airforce Jet. In this, plane you sit side-by-side with the pilot so you have a really clear view all around including above your head as the canopy is see-through. You also communicate with the pilot through your…Read More
The plane itself is an ex New Zealand Airforce Jet. In this, plane you sit side-by-side with the pilot so you have a really clear view all around including above your head as the canopy is see-through. You also communicate with the pilot through your headphone microphone so you can ask questions and he also explains what you are about to do and experience next.We powered up and took off, after we reached a little altitude, Phil increased the speed and gradually took us up in a gentle loop to experience the first of the “G” forces to break me in gently. No worries so far. What does a “G” force feel like? It feels like your head decreases to the size of a golf ball as the force pushes the blood in your body towards your feet and resists your heart’s attempts to pump the blood back up to your brain. The more “G’s the more pressure and you may even experience tunnel vision. That’s the reason why most fighter pilots are fairly short. During our mission we flew up to 700km an hour (420mph) and experienced a total of four “G”s. That was enough, too.We then did a 360-degree spin then continued cruising in a big sideways loop, then we took a huge upside down loop so that we were looking straight down at the ground upside-down. We then repeated this but cruised along for ages upside down followed by a couple of slow 360-degree rolls.Phil then handed the joystick over to me and after a few minutes of flying and becoming familiar with the touchiness of the joystick, I did a full roll myself—what a buzz! I then cruised along flying through the clouds and as it was time for more trick flying I reluctantly gave up control of the joystick.We then did a series of fast start and stop rollovers, stopping at 90, 180 and 270 degrees and headed on to our “attack” mission: find and destroy a tarpaulin covering a secret stash of—wait for it—manure. We looped back along the coastline and came in low and, what could I do? No machine gun, I had to make my own sound effects and blow up the enemy! No blue tarpaulin can escape. Mission accomplished.After that excitement, we spent a little time cruising along the coast near Byron Bay. Wow, it was so beautiful.After taking in the views we then went up into a series of huge backward loops and when we were upside down at the top of the loop we experienced negative gravity so were actually weightless for a couple of seconds. We repeated this and it was just as good the second and third time. Just unbelievable. Then, all too soon, it was all over so it was back to earth once again. Close