F141

Check out his story from Cpl Seamus.

It is by a Sports Illustrated writer, Rick Riley, who took a ride in a
Navy F-14.

Thanks Jack,

Below is an  article written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. He
details his  experiences when given the opportunity to fly in a F-14
Tomcat.  If  you aren’t laughing out loud by the time you get to "Milk
Duds," your  sense of humor is seriously broken.

Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat  of one of your
country’s most powerful fighter jets.  Many of you  already have . John
Elway, John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few.   If you get this
opportunity, let me urge you, with the greatest  sincerity…

Move to  Guam.

Change your  name. 

Fake your  own death! 

Whatever you  do

Do Not  Go!!!

I  know. 

The  U.S. Navy invited me to try  it.  I was thrilled. I was pumped.  I
was toast!  I  should’ve known when they told me my pilot would be Chip
(Biff) King of  Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in
Virginia Beach. 

Whatever you’re thinking a Top Gun named Chip (Biff) King looks like,
triple it.  He’s about  six-foot, tan, ice-blue eyes, wavy surfer hair,
finger-crippling handshake  — the kind of man who wrestles dyspeptic
alligators in his leisure  time.  If you see this man, run the other
way. Fast. 

Biff King was born to fly.  His father,  Jack King, was for years the
voice of NASA missions. ("T-minus 15 seconds  and counting …"
Remember?)  Chip would charge neighborhood kids a  quarter each to hear
his dad.  Jack would wake up from naps surrounded by nine-year-olds
waiting for him to say, "We have a liftoff" 

Biff was to fly me in an F-14D Tomcat, a  ridiculously powerful $60
million weapon with nearly as much thrust as  weight, not unlike Colin
Montgomerie. I was worried about getting airsick,  so the night before
the flight I asked Biff if there was something I  should eat the next
morning. 

"Bananas," he  said.

"For the potassium?"   I asked.

"No," Biff said, "because  they taste about the same coming up as they
do going  down."

The next morning, out on  the tarmac, I had on my flight suit with my
name sewn over the left  breast.  (No call sign — like Crash or Sticky
or Leadfoot .. But,  still, very cool.)  I carried my helmet in the
crook of my arm, as  Biff had instructed.  If ever in my life I had a
chance to nail  Nicole Kidman, this was it. 

A fighter  pilot named Psycho gave me a safety briefing and then
fastened me into my  ejection seat, which, when employed, would "egress"
me out of the plane at  such a velocity that I would be immediately
knocked unconscious. 

Just as I was thinking  about aborting the flight, the canopy closed
over me, and Biff gave the  ground crew a thumbs-up.  In minutes we were
firing nose up at 600  mph.  We leveled out and then canopy-rolled over
another F-14. 

Those 20 minutes were the rush of my life.  Unfortunately, the ride
lasted 80.  It was like being on the roller  coaster at Six Flags Over
Hell.  Only without rails.  We did  barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops,
yanks and banks.  We dived, rose and  dived again, sometimes with a
vertical velocity of 10,000 feet per  minute. We chased another F-14,
and it chased  us.

We broke the speed of  sound.  Sea was sky and sky was sea. Flying at
200 feet we did  90-degree turns at 550 mph, creating a G force of 6.5,
which is to say I  felt as if 6.5 times my body weight was smashing
against me, thereby  approximating life as Mrs. Colin  Montgomerie.

And I egressed the bananas.   

 

 
And  I egressed the  pizza from the night  before.
 
And the lunch before that. 

 
I egressed  a box of Milk Duds from the sixth grade. 
 
I made Linda Blair look  polite. Because of the G’s, I was egressing
stuff that never thought would  be egressed. 

 
I went through not one  airsick bag, but two.

Biff said I passed  out.  Twice.  I was coated in sweat. At one point,
as we were  coming in upside down in a banked curve on a mock bombing
target and the  G’s were flattening me like a tortilla and I was in and
out of  consciousness, I realized I was the first person in history to
throw down. 

I used to know ‘cool’.  Cool was Elway  throwing a touchdown pass, or
Norman making a five-iron bite.  But  now I really know ‘cool’.  Cool is
guys like Biff, men with cast-iron  stomachs and freon nerves.  I
wouldn’t go up there again for Derek  Jeter’s black book, but I’m glad
Biff does every day, and for less a year than a rookie reliever makes in
a home stand. 

A week later, when the spins finally stopped,  Biff called.  He said he
and the fighters had the perfect call sign  for me. Said he’d send it on
a patch for my flight  suit.

What is it?  I  asked.

"Two  Bags."

Comments

  1. What a great bit of writing!
    I’ve done 3Gs in Blackhawks (!!!), and a few negative G dives (ever fall UP??), FAR more then I ever want to do again. To do more I just can’t imagine. Those fighter guys are another breed. Thank God we have them.

  2. I felt like I’ve been through the wringer. This is hilarious! You are the bomb Maj P, thanks for the post!

  3. 15 Questions with Ranger and Special Operations legend, Col. Keith Nightingale

    With everything going on in Iraq and the Global War on Terror (GWoT), I wanted to get the impressions of an expert whose opinion I trusted. So, I chose the finest officer and warrior (and my former commander) I’ve ever

  4. OK ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS A GRUNT, THIS GRUNT LIKE MANY BEFORE HIM GOT ON A THING THAT SHOULDNT FLY ACCORDING TO NEWTONS LAW OF PHYSICS. GUESS WHAT WHEN A TRANSMISSION GUIZZMO SCREWS UP IN THE AIR YOU CANT GET OUT, THIS CRAFTY CW4(PILOT) FLOORS IT, BUSTED TAIL ROTOR AND ALL SAFELY CRASH LANDS US..SAFELY USED LOOSELY, AT I WRECKON 200 MPH.. SHIT EVERYWHERE WAS PARTS AND PIECES, MACHINE GUNS EMBEDDED IN THE FLOOR BOARDS OF THE AIRCRAFT. BUMPED AND BRUISED PERSONNEL, FEW BROKEN PEOPLE AND ALL WALK AND TALK TO THIS DAY AINT NO WAY ON GODS GREEN EARTH WOULD GO THRU THAT SHIT AGAIN SAFELY CRASHING AN AIRCRAFT HATS OFF TO THOSE THAT KNOW HOW TO FLY AND THOSE THAT CAN CRASH AN AIRCRAFT SAFELY, I THANK GOD TO THIS DAY THE CW4 KNEW IF HE FLOORED HIS AIRCRAFT IT WOULD NOT AUTOGYRATE..IN LAIMEN TERMS MEAN THE AIRCRAFT SPINS AS THE ROTOR STAYS IN THE SAME SPOT

  5. Being an Army helo pilot assigned to the Navy my good buddy got me a ride in an F-4 test flight. I filled one barf bag and had the dirt around my feet wind up going down my collar. My body did contorsions. Those guys have balls of brass.

  6. Wow… wonderful… you are such a good writer. Your good writing and the way you have put in ideas also talks about the kind of character and the kind of person you are. You seem to be a good person, because the article you have written is just simple, to the point and yet so good.

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