This Is Probably The Closest You'll Come To Flying In An F-16


Blair Bunting is not in any way qualified to fly an F-16. He's even less qualified to fly with the Thunderbirds, an elite group of U.S. Air Force F-16 demonstration pilots.

And yet, in a video posted Tuesday, Bunting is seen in the co-pilot's seat of one of the Thunderbirds' F-16s, alternately cycling between pure joy and pure terror as the jet loops through the sky, at one point accelerating up to 9 G's.

Bunting, a photographer by trade, was honored with the flight at the tail end of an assignment with the Thunderbirds. In a blog describing the experience, Bunting compared his excitement for the flight as "like a kid trying to sleep the night before a Christmas where Santa brings him an F-16."

Here's how he describes doing 9 G's:

Firstly, in no way is it comfortable, not even close. I began to feel my face melting away as the skin in my cheeks pulled down to my mouth. The color from my vision was the next thing to fade away, first the reds, then the greens. Squeezing like hell, I did everything I could to get air into my lungs as the G-suit wrenched it out. With all the color of a 1950′s television set, the next thing I noticed was that waves were starting to develop in my vision and a vignette appeared. All the while I am listening to the pilot’s breathing and trying my hardest to match it.

Despite the terror evident in that description, Bunting seems to have had an amazing time.

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