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My #AlphaMission Exploration: Top Gun Edition
By AlphaNews
5/13/2016 8:01:00 AM
Today is Top Gun Day. What is it? Well it’s like "Talk Like a Pirate Day", only way cooler because you get to quote Top Gun all day long, wear aviator leather bombers, flight suits and sunglasses, and pretend you’re a fighter pilot. That's just what three Alpha execs got a chance to do at the Manassas Air Show when they flew with the Warrior Flight Team in their L-39 jets, Vandy and Roman. 

One of Alpha's corporate philanthropies is the Warrior Flight Team. Since the team is made up of mostly retired U.S. armed forces pilots part of what they do is perform at air shows such as Manassas, which is not far from our headquarters. When they invited a few of us to fly with them before and after the show we were excited. Personally I had never been in a fighter jet but it has been an item on my bucket list for some time. 

The first day we were going to fly was a bust because of rainstorms but the next day was sunny and we were cleared for takeoff. I had mixed emotions as we did the pre-flight briefing. Excited for the adventure that laid ahead, but nervous about what was going to happen. My nerves got even worse when they prepped us on how to self-eject and how to untangle our parachute. On top of that I was sitting in the backseat of the Roman which is the teacher spot and has the master off switch. Whatever happened up there the big takeaway was... don't touch that button!

The two L-39 jets took off together and soon we were flying in formations. At times we were so close to the Vandy that I thought I could touch it. We flew for a while so I could get acclimated and then the fun began. The Warrior Flight Team pilots started doing turns, rolls, and all kinds of tricks. While I did feel sick to my stomach I was glad that I didn't actually throw up like many first-time flyers do. Toward the end they let me take the controls and do some flying. It was pretty cool although I did have a hard time keeping the jet level and not pointed toward the ground.  I was happy when we landed back at the Manassas Air Show but psyched that I had finally gotten my Maverick moment. 

Check out photos and video from the Alpha execs' adventure below.

  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight
  • Alpha Execs Top Gun Flight

Tags: #AlphaMission, Exploration, flying L-39s, Warrior Flight Team, Manassas Air Show
Categories: Events, Alpha Mission
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