I think it was August 2000, when I had the opportunity to fly in a fighter jet. It was awesome.
Working with a marketing company, my main client was the title sponsor of the North Bay Airshow and they had two flights available with the Discovery Wings team. I had one and one of the guys from my marketing team had the other.
I remember being folded into the back seat of the plane, the cockpits aren’t exactly built for someone that is 6 foot 6. I was basically told not to touch anything red, or really anything. Except noting the two red handles that were located between my legs. If I was to hear the pilot come on our radio saying “eject, eject, eject”, I was to pull the two handles as hard and fast as I could and hang on. If I didn’t have them pulled by the third eject, I was on my own, the pilot would already be gone.
At 700 miles an hour, it doesn’t take long to get anywhere in Ontario. North Bay when you are driving it feels like no where Northern Ontario, but at 700 mph (just under the speed of sound) you can make it anywhere pretty fast. We also flew in formation, so it always felt like the paired plane was just feet away. You could see the expressions on each of our faces, as we had the rides of our lives.
To do take the flight, I had to leave my parents 30th(?) wedding anniversary BBQ a little early. My dad understood, sorry mom.
By the way, I didn’t have to pull the handles.