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Another FS2002 transitioning to RW Flying story....

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Hi All, I just had such an incredible experience and I wanted to share it with everyone. Yesterday, I flew a real fighter jet. The plane was a Czech Republic L-39C Albatross. It is used mostly for training, but is a front line fighter in some countries still today. I was in the Florida Keys, Marathon, FL (KMTH) working last week as I saw the fighters flying around. After wrapping up my week of work, I went over to the FBO (Paradise Aviation) and inquired about going up. I figured this is one of those 'once in a lifetime' experiences, so I went for it. Its not exactly cheap or reasonable but hey, you only live once, right. So after an hour of ground school, we were off for my 30 minutes of pure joy. My first impression was how quiet the jet was once the cabin was pressurized. We taxi'ed down to Runway 07, the instructor let me taxi after we were clear of the other airplanes. Taxi'ing is done with differential braking (no nose-wheel steering). The brake is a lever that you grip from the flight stick, not like toe brakes with rudder pedals. Because they are hydraulic, there is a delay between the time you squeeze the brake and when it actually 'brakes'. I did pretty well and he even let me taxi to the hold short line. He took it from there and taxi'ed onto the runway. Everything happens so quick with a jet as compared to the Cessna I flew last year. (obviously!) No need to do a run-up, a jet engine is either working or not. I set take-off flaps and we were off! He did the take-off and climbed to about 2500' got the airplane clean and gave it to me. I continued the climb to 7500' at 190 IAS (about 10 deg. pitch up). It's absolutely amazing how easy this aircraft was to fly. I've never flown with a stick before, and I gotta say I like it way more than the yoke. I did a couple of 30 an 45 deg turns to get aquainted with the craft. Then on to 2 G (60 deg) turns and then he showed me how to do rolls. Pitch down to 250 IAS, pull up to 12 deg pitch up, and pull (agressively) the stick to the side, and before you know it we were rolling through the air. WooHoo! I didn't keep enough back pressure on the first one and ended up diving pretty fast, overcompensated too much and pulled about 3.5 G's when I pulled out of the dive. After a couple more, I got pretty good at it. After that I asked if I could try some 90 deg banks (about 4 G's). This took a lot of rudder authority to keep level, but I did it. Ahhh, time to catch some scenery and let the old stomach relax and catch my breath before he was gonna show me some wing-overs and inverted flight. The Florida Keys is amazing place to fly. The scenery is unreal. Unfortunately it was pretty hazy and there wasn't a horizon for visual reference at all. Thanks goes to FS2002 for plenty of experience with the Attitude Indicator. Now he was gonna do a demonstration of some combat manuevers. 4G turns to inverted flight etc. Quite an intense experience to be flying inverted and pull all those G's. Apparently too much for my stomach, cause I ended up losing my lunch as we finished the last manuever of the flight. Whoops, how embarassing. Needless to say we went back to the airport and he flew the pattern and landed. All I gotta say is this is one of the most incredible things I have experienced im my life. My instructor said that I flew as well as any of the 500-1000 pilots he's been up with and he let me fly the plane more than most people get to. I only have 7 hours in my logbook from a year ago, so I attibute most of this to FS2002. I'm not really a fighter jet kinda guy, but this was well worth it. IF any of you guys ever have the bug or oppurtunity to do something like this, go for it. No prior experience is necessary. Just don't eat Taco Bell right before you go up!BTW, sorry this is so long, I could go on forever!-------------Holding Short

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