A Thrill of a Lifetime for a Combat Helicopter Veteran!
We took off at 0807 with a straight up afterburner 500 knot climb. I was thrilled.
A hundred miles later we did some low G turns to see how I handled them. I was unfazed.
My pilot, a young captain with Lips as his nickname, then made four hard G maneuvers, trying to get my attention. I was impressed.
We then did a roll, a loop, a split S, an Immelmann, a dive, and pulled the max Gs at 8.5. I was delighted!
Then I got to do most of the same maneuvers myself, not as cleanly, but fully by myself. I was ecstatic!!
He asked what else I wanted to do and we went inverted--his water bottle floating by me, my helmet touching the canopy as I hung there. I was, well, upside down!!!
I flew almost half of the flight impressing Lips by initiating the turns and descents called for by Air Traffic Control without his instruction. Later he called me his best autopilot.
Words fail to express how much I enjoyed the flight. After all the horror stories about Gs and the 80% vomit rate, I found the hardest part was getting out of the cockpit. And they get paid to do this!!!!
And the kicker...
The pilot assigned to fly me Monday did my egress and harness training. His name is Matt "Spear" Booth. When I asked where he was from he said he was an Army brat. I quickly asked his dad's first name. "Ed," he replied. I told him that Ed was a Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Class of '83 classmate. In fact, Ed was in my section and my staff group. Imagine the odds!