If you know someone who likes the speed and excitement of a classic aerial dogfight, you can thrill the pants off them with this brilliant ‘Fly with a fighter pilot experience’.
Alasdair’s recommended ‘Fly with a fighter pilot’ gift day
This is my best flying with a fighter pilot. Why pay more than you have to when you’re buying this experience?
So what happens when you’re flying with a fighter pilot?
First thing’s first, you won’t be flying in a fighter jet. Those things are far too valuable to let idiots like me joyride in them. This is a bulldog aircraft – a versatile, propeller driven aircraft that fighter pilots use to train. It’s also one the main aircraft used for aerobatics because it’s so manoeuvrable, and this means that you’ll still be in for a breathtaking experience.
You’ll take to the sky with an ex-military instructor, who will teach you how to fly like a real fighter pilot. It’s always surprised me how much faith the ex-military trainers have in new people like me, but even people who have never flown in their lives before can take the controls and perform stunts.
Of course it’s dual control and there’s nothing that can really go wrong, but it’s fantastic to get up in the air and get flying right away.
Compare fighter pilot experiences
How long does the experience last?
The experience lasts about 2 -3 hours, and the flying time is around 35 minutes. What I find amazing is the amount you can fit into that time. including:
- Loop the loop
- Barrel roll
- Derry turn
- Aileron roll
- Stall turn
- Cuban 8
- Slow roll
- Vertical roll
The trainer will let you perform most of these, and will then show you how a real military pilot does them. This bit really takes your breath away and the G forces make you glad you’re not in a real fighter jet. Believe me – it’s fun but you won’t be expecting just how tightly these aircraft can turn!
The remaining time will be spent on introductions, safety briefings and helping you get to know the plane. There’s a short debriefing at the end and you’ll get a certificate too.
Where is this experience?
The experience is only available in East Sussex. If it’s too far to travel, take a look at my aerobatics experience page. These is similar and available in loads more places around the UK.
How is this experience different from the Top Gun experiences?
This experience is pared down version, shorter version of the Top Gun experiences, and it’s in the same place too. It focusses on teaching you the skills of combat but not actually engaging an enemy. It’s cheaper than the Top Gun experiences too, mainly because it’s a bit shorter and your plane will be flying alone, rather than two planes interacting with each other.
You get all the excitement of flying with this experience, and you’ll experience plenty of G force as you perform some amazing stunts. The only thing missing is the battle scenario, and it’s up to you if you ant to pay more for that. Personally I’d be very happy receiving this experience as a gift, and if you’ve never flown before, this is more than enough excitement for one day!
If you still need some more info, here’s a rundown of all the ‘fly with a fighter pilot’ experiences available in the UK today.
The only difference is the days you can use the experience on, as you’ll pay more to take part on a weekend. Click through on the cheapest to find out more.