Ride of a lifetime: WKBN flies with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds

In no time, the F16 flew from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, past Columbus

Amanda Smith flew with the Thunderbirds in Vienna


VIENNA, Ohio (WKBN) – Ahead of the Thunder Over the Valley Air Show in Vienna that began Saturday, one of WKBN’s own — Reporter Amanda Smith — went on a ride with the Air Force’s Thunderbirds on Thursday.

It was an amazing display of the sheer skill and professionalism of our nation’s Air Force.

PHOTOS AND INFORMATION: THUNDER OVER THE VALLEY AIR SHOW

Preparation for the flight, including safety training and gearing up, took about four hours.

Then it was time to fly.

Watch: Amanda’s point of view from inside the plane

The F16 aircraft is designed to deliver 29,000 pounds of thrust. That means it took off like a rocket.

When a fighter pilot says that 9 Gs are no joke, that’s exactly what they mean. It feels like 1,500 pounds of weight on your chest.

The maneuvers the F16 pilots perform are designed to push the plane to its limits.

In no time, the plane flew from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, past Columbus. Then it showed off what it can do, flying upside down and sideways before it landed back on the ground.

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