OSHKOSH - It's a day I'll never forget. Thursday, I got to experience the ride of my life. But before any of this stuff happens, it takes a lot of prep work.
Like learning the proper way to breathe when you're 17,000 feet in the air, getting your helmet to fit just right and making sure your mask is on nice and tight.
Then it’s time to meet my pilot, “Wolf,” a.k.a. “Thunderbird number 7.” But he also goes by Maj. Tyler Ellison.
And making sure your mask is on nice and tight.
We go over a few moves before heading out onto the tarmac. We get suited up, and then a quick picture with my name on the jet.
[caption id="attachment_53422" align="alignright" width="168"] FOX 11's Emily Deem gives a thumbs-up while riding in an F-16 jet with the Air Force Thunderbirds, July 31, 2014. (WLUK/Emily Deem)[/caption]
Thumbs up and we are good to go. We are ready for takeoff!
One of the best parts of the flight is takeoff.
"We did a quick climb where we pulled 6 1/2 G's strength to the vertical,” Ellison said. “We climbed up to 17,000 feet.”
We go about 75 miles to the north into airspace that was blocked off just for us to fly as free as we wanted.
“We went through different things from the G warm-up to make sure the body is ready to ‘pull-Gs,’ and then we did a barrel roll and got you exposure to different forces of gravity as we did those," Ellison told me.
An experience that captures the world in a whole new perspective.
Before I know it, we’re coming in for a landing.
A memory that will last a lifetime and one I won't soon forget.