Watch: Reporter Flies High in an F-15

By: Elizabeth Prann Email
By: Elizabeth Prann Email

Living near an Air Force Base you may occasionally see a jet gliding through the air.

News Channel Seven's Elizabeth Prann got a ride of a lifetime when she tagged a long with some of Tyndall Air Force Bases' finest.

She was lucky enough to get a behind the scenes look at one of the most impressive machines man has created and got up to 18,000 feet just to make sure she got the whole experience down.

"Our maintenance personnel is constantly out there working on them, taking apart the aircraft making sure they're working properly... You know they're highly sophisticated equipment and they need to be maintained as such.." said Lt. Cody Chiles of 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.

Tyndall Air Force Base is home to two F-15 squadrons with about 27 jets assigned at any given time.

For every hour a jet spends in the air there is team of men and women spend roughly 14 maintenance hours on each aircraft.

High impact maneuvers can take their toll on the F-15, as well as the pilot and passenger.

"The G's are generated is when the aircraft actually turns, the F-15 is capable of pulling 9 G's. You weigh nine times your normal weight," said Flight Surgeon, Major Thomas J. Toffoli.

Before Elizabeth was cleared to fly, she had to undergo a medical exam and and spend some time in a model cockpit, getting comfortable with the aircraft.

And in case of an emergency she sat in a parachute simulator, it showed realistic evacuation techniques.

Capt. Brian "Patch" Marbach demonstrated the capabilities of the F-15 with Elizabeth, even showing her what a dog fight looked like.

The 45-minute ride gave everyone at News Channel Seven a new appreciation of the brave men and women help defend our country on the ground and in the air.

And for the record, she survived 8.5 G's.

Tune in Friday morning at 5 a.m. to get a preview of the Gulf Coast Salute as well as throughout the weekend, we'll keep you posted on the event.

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