“I was scared and thrilled”

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The airplane featured in this video is made right here in River City, St Louis, folks. Several years ago I flew my little Cessna down to Kentucky Lake via radio navigation. On the way back I decided I had enough of that video game flying (using instruments) so I just followed the Mississippi back home to St Louis. About 75 miles south of St Louis I see a speck in the distance moving towards me and I thought what the heck is it? As it came closer I could see it was an F-18 seemingly intending to intersect my flight path which is usually not a good thing. It passed directly in front of me with its wings perpendicular to the earth. It filled my entire windscreen and I could see both pilots laughing their “A’s” off. I was scared and thrilled all at the same time. Thrilled because I had never “interacted” with a fighter jet ever before in my life. I was scared because I had constantly been preached to in ground school to never get near the wake of a jet aircraft. I quickly ran through the drill in my mind on what to do if ever inverted which was kind of useless because a Cessna 172 is not built to handle inverted flight; the wings simply fail and fold up right before you grab your cheeks and kiss it goodbye. The dreaded turbulence never happened. My guess, since they passed slightly below me, is that by the time my slow-moving (125 MPH) Cessna reached the spot where they crossed my path the turbulence had sunk below my aircraft. Whatever the reason I thanked the Lord profusely as I tried to process what had just happened to me. Again, it was both fun and terrifying and I guess “all is well that ends well”.

Mvc-020AsB

The above photograph is one that I took while flying back from a Michigan City, Indiana trip. An F-18 silhouette has been added to the upper right corner with the help of Photoshop to give you and idea of what I saw coming toward me.

 

 

 

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