Yes, flying coach on an American Airlines plane was almost amusing after flying in an F-16. I was able, however, to order a nice soft-drink at no additional cost.
Anyway- continuing the saga–
The day was packed. After changing into my flight suit, getting laced up with a “G” suit, and undergoing an exam from the flight surgeon…I then learned how to operate an Air Force parachute, “just in case you need to eject”.
Eject? Nobody told me about ejecting. That’s for VHS tapes, and I ain’t got a VHS tape player anymore!
While the slew of what seemed like 2-dozen Air Force members were all extrmely nice, extremely knowledgable, and made me feel extremely safe…I felt awkward like I had never done a news report before. For some reason, knowing *I was the story* and the possilby I would need to pull the strap to eject myself from this moving aircraft…it was too much!
I will leave on the note saying: once we got up in the air, after the immediate 90-degree ascent into the universe, the ride was soothing. Here we are, travelling at speeds faster than I could ever imagine– at one point flying with 9.3 x’s the force of gravity on my body, breaking the sound barrier, but yet– the view was panoramic. None of this commercial airlines square of a window to look out of.
We flipped and dipped…spinned and gyrated in the air– all very gracefully. The pilot was in my headset the entire time, preparing me for what I was about to do.
On my legs, were strapped two manila envelopes, with plastic baggies inside. On the outside of the envelopes, it read “These are your motion sickness bags. Don’t be embarassed to use them.” (okay, that might not be a direct quote– but going 600mph, that’s what the appeared to read!)
I’m very, very proud to say, I didn’t need to use them! However…now that my photographer spilled the beans… 😉 I DID get a little sick after the flight.
Jeff: “Dion, go toward the grass! Run toward the grass!”
Dion: “okay! I’m trying…oh, oh….”
You know the rest.
All over the nice, shiny Air Force issued boots I was wearing.
On another note- Over the weekend, I was staying with friends in Chicago. These two have an incredible apartment with a panoramic window in the kitchen, which overlooked…of all places…Barack Obama’s gym! Around, oh, I don’t know, about 6 or 7pm, I noticed a huge crowd gathering on the street. There were news crews everywhere, waiting for a glimpse of Obama.
After waiting, and waiting– still feeling exhausted after my T-Birds flight, I stopped waiting with the masses. However, I head the commotion soon after and thought I saw him in the crowd…
…the next day, it was chaos outside again. However, we had heard Barack (who just announced Biden as his VP) wasn’t in town…so I went to check out why so many tween-aged girls were crowing the streets…apparently it was the Jonas Brothers.
Until Next Time,