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Jack’s Ride with the Thunderbirds Part 1[VIDEO]

I’ve done a lot of crazy things in my life, but this may be the most insane. On Friday morning, I will be riding shotgun in an Air Force Thunderbird with Capt. Kristin Hubbard. She’s Thunderbird number 8 and an advanced pilot. She’s logged more than 1,000 hours of flight time in the F-16, which is good because I’ve only logged about 100 hours on Flight Simulator.

Now to get myself ready, besides cranking up Kenny Loggin’s “Danger Zone” ,they’ve asked me to hydrate. Apparently my 4 coffee a day habit is not good for flying 600 miles an hour in a Fighting Falcon.

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I don’t know if this is a good sign, but I got a little vertigo just watching the Thunderbirds Pilot Cam on Youtube. I’ve been up in an aerobatic plane before, and it kicked about 3 G’s on some of the sharp turns and rolls but this is an F-16. It can make tight turns as fast as 7 or 8 G’s. I’m expecting red-out followed by blackout followed by that quesy feeling in my stomach. Better stay away from the Baked Ziti the night before.

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Now apparently these Air Force Guys like to see civilians squirm. And as long as I pass the required physical and get up in the air, the entire flight will be on video. I should have it posted here by Friday Night. So if I do hurl, it will all be captured on video and live forever on Youtube.

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You can watch the Thunderbirds on Saturday and Sunday at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base. The Thunder Of Niagara Air Show is free and will also honor our heroes and remember those who lost their lives on 9-11. It’s free, and a rare opportunity to see this elite group of Air Force Pilots known as the Thunderbirds.

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