Tuesday, October 7, 2008

David's TOP GUN adventure

When David first shared with me the exciting news about winning the prize at the CA (Computer Associates) expo for an introductory jet flight experience, I was excited and worried at the same time. Me, a worrier by nature and not being an extreme sports person, immediately think of all that could possibly go wrong with such a flight. (Well the BAC StrikeMaster, nicknamed Blunty by the Royal New Zealand Airforce, was known to have problem in the main wing structure and was retired by the RNZAF in 1994 and also gounded by the Ecuador at one stage)

Well, last Saturday finally came around and with much anticipation
we drove about 90 minutes to Ballarat airport. Surprisingly I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be, perhaps David's excitement was contagious! We even played the top gun CD in the car loudly!

The clouds cleared and the sun was shining when we arrived at
Ballarat airport Hangar 5. The StrikeMaster just landed with a passenger as we report to the office. It is much noisier and bigger than i remember it (seen it before at the airshow). What follows afterwards was a series of preparation including briefing about safety, watching a video about emergency procedures ~ yay really helpful in bringing back all my fears and worries :(
(Just kidding

Then it got exciting as David put on the flight suit, slim line parachute and fighter pilot helmet. Boy he did look like a Top Gun about to embark on a mission! While all that were happening, I kept myself busy with video recording, determined to capture every bit of this thrilling experience! Darren, the pilot was introduced to us, and everything was set to go - there was one last little step left .... signing the WAIVER! This is when you sign your life away!

Well one more important routine before boarding the Strike Master, that is ..... posing for photos!!

While the flight took off the runway and making the aerobatic maneuvers (barrel roll, Derry turns, Wing over and loops) in the sky above me, all i could hear was the noise and the tiny shape of what looked like a bird! The jet must be something like 10,000 feet above me!

20 minutes was up before I finished chatting with the next lucky person who was going for the adventure after David. Needless to say, David enjoyed the ride immensely. He was blown away by the experience and highly recommend it to anyone who are hesitating about taking this adventure.

To reward my hard work (yes very hard work of videoing and patiently going through the suspense with him LOL), we had a little feast at the Europa Cafe in Ballarat city centre. hmmm, yummy chicken and pumpkin risotto, freshly squeezed apple, pineapple and pear juice and earl grey tea (for me) settled my complaining tummy and refreshed us before head back to Melbourne.

Exhausted by the excitement and a busy week of overtime work and day light saving kicking in, I hit the sack before 10pm that night - contended of all we have accomplished that week.

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