Somewhere between Bell's Palsy and death
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Flew with the Limas, lived to tell (but barely)

By now, many of you may or may not know what I did Friday morning. If not, lemme show you it in pictures:

My chariot awaited. You’ll notice in subsequent pics that
my plane is the only USAF plane, while the others are Navy.
That’s because, according to my pilot, Brian “Digger” McCann,
the plane’s owner was Air Force and flat-out refused to paint
“Navy" on the plane, even if the colors are in fact Navy.

My colleague and pal Scott Bort, getting the rundown
from his pilot, John “Ripper” Rippinger. The flotation device
is but one thing you get harnessed into on one of these flights.

Digger gets into his parachute and straps in for the ride.

Heading toward my deaththe runway

Aw yeah, there’s no turning back now.

This here’s the control panel in my part of the cockpit.
Didn’t need to know anything about it and didn’t want
to know, as it’s better that way for all involved.

Aaaaaaaand we’re up!

Ripper and Bort.

See those planes waaaaay over there? Yeah, we had
to catch up to them. There was speeding involved.

We caught up, natch, and here we are in formation. See?
It really is further apart than it looks from the ground.

Now it’s time to head over the lake, where Digger says
the ride is smoother. We’ll see about that.

Six planes up in (Lima Lima) formation. Over the lake.

Coming off the lake.

Back in formation off the lake. I know I’ve got a lot
of these shots, but I was fascinated by how the planes
looked like marionettes.

As I headed back to the airport for my second assignment
of the day, there were these ginormous billowy clouds
that would’ve been gorgeous to fly through. When
WE were up in the air, we got this. Not quite as exciting.

“If you’re gonna spew, spew into this!”

Back on land and Thunderbirds in the hizzzouse, y’all!

This is what happens when you try to convince people who’re
flight-challenged that there are going to be loop-de-loops
and spiraling dips. Right, Bort!??

That’s right—he had to pose with his barf
bag. And he would’ve made me do it if I’d
have tossed, so don’t be all, “Awww, poor
Scott.” It’s a hazard of the job.

The master and me, no worse for the wear. And no barf

This is not to say, however, that the ride was all smooth sailing for me, either; until you’re up there, you really have no idea how unbelievably hot it gets, and if you’re not properly hydrated (like I’m not most of the time), it’s going to hurt, and I spent the last five or so minutes of the flight concentrating on my breathing so I wouldn’t hyperventilate. And I now also understand the appeal of sticking your head out the window like a dog while driving—I’ve never been so happy to open a window as when Digger told me I could reopen the chamber.

So yeah, it’s an extremely cool thing to do if you ever have the chance to do it, no question, and the Limas couldn’t be a better bunch of guys to fly with. You won’t see ME doing it again—I thought doing something like this would cure my fear of moving heights, but no such luck—but I’m thrilled and grateful I had the chance to do it this once.

Posted by Broad5:38 PM
It is the job of a good person to be honest. To be self-aware. To deliberately explore the fault lines of your character and try desperately to not inflict suffering in this strange, ghost-ridden world of worked and fabricated objects. Sometimes the jobs of writer and good person coincide. But more often they don’t. There are way more writers in the world than there are good people.

100 things
Info meme #1
Typelogic says I'm an INFP.
Check my weekly astrological groove here.

Give it to me, baby.

Pssst ... My birthday's Feb. 3, and I want this, and this, and this ...

The Make-Believe Oral Cancer Foundation (M-BOCF) is now accepting donations on my behalf. Won't you please help those of us who jump to hideous conclusions regarding our oral health and help me get a root canal or two!??:

Save the Net Now

/> Wanna make a bunch of money doing what you're doing right now?

Hey Webmasters! - Make $$$
The Affiliates Program is a great way to make money with your website. All you have to do is place links on your site to When your site visitors click on your links and make purchases at, you earn 25%-30% of the sale. Sign up today!

Broad said: Like I said, my feelings are complicated on the matter, so ... I’m interested, however, in Her Highness’ thoughts on… ...[go].

Caterina said: ARGH!!! Not to deny you your goddess-given right of reflections and wishing what might-have-beens, but this guy was straight up… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: By the by, guess who was most nasty about the charitable giving?  The frigging church.  My church and my mom’s… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: By the by, I’m not the only one I know.  I have friends who work at soup kitchens because they’re… ...[go].

Wholovesya? said: As you know, I was a voyeur to the beginning of this, and I was loving your comment!  I have… ...[go].

powered by
EE Core

script assistance by

hosted by

This explains that large bit of type at the top.

Tagline by Ben F'in Mollin, talking about those times you wake up still drunk from the night before.


<< chicago blogs >>

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Support Bloggers' Rights!
Support Bloggers' Rights!