Thursday, August 9, 2012

22. fly a fighter jet

before i was even accepted into the air force academy, i knew i'd never be a fighter pilot.  i was too short for the cockpit and i was as blind as a bat.  being submersed in the culture and surrounded by people whose dream it was to fly planes made the pipe dream a desire though.  one summer, i was doing summer research at scott air force base (SAFB) in illinois.  it's not the most glamorous of locations (LOTS of cornfields) but while i was there, i had so many opportunities to do things i knew i'd likely never get another chance to do.

the primary research i was completing was for the Air Mobility Command Historian's office, writing a chronology of the C-9 (a plane used for aeromedical evacuation).  the program was 6 weeks so my hosts wanted to make sure i got to enjoy some real air force experiences.  i got to ride on a C-9 (as aircrew!) on their western loop of the country, stopping in idaho, california and texas.  i even got to make the announcements.  i also got to ride in a KC-135 and lie down in the boom operator's seat as it refueled a B-52.  but the most awesome incentive was getting to fly a fighter jet.

st louis is just across the border from the base so i was able to visit the st louis national guard.  they took me up in an F-15 as part of a four-ship simulating a dog fight with 2 F-16s.  it was an amazing experience!  we pulled 7 Gs and i nearly blacked out at one point but i recognized the symptoms of hypoxia (thanks biology class!) and quickly took measures to stay conscious.  the pilot let me take the controls for a bit but i'm not going to lie.  that was the most intimidating thing i've ever "controlled" and i gave him back the aircraft before long.  and i'm happy to report that i never got sick.  sometimes they like to force newbies to use the barf bag but i was a tough cookie.

so even though i'll never be a fighter pilot, i can still say i've flown a fighter jet...

scrapbook pages


  1. Very cool :) I have never gotten any type of sad is that?!

  2. Oh Janene, this is way cool! You've done some amazing inspire me :-)