News 13 takes to the skies with The U.S Thunderbirds

News 13 takes to the skies with The U.S. Thunderbirds

Posted:

Yuma, AZ- Within seconds we were over 13,000 feet in the air. Thunderbird # 7 Colonel Jason Koltes took News 13 out for a flight on an F-16 to show us what its like to be a Thunderbird.  

45 minutes in the air feels like a 10 min ride. We flew over the East restricted R2301 area. We dipped down low near a mountain range and we got close to the border.  

"It was an exhilarating time for sure for the both of us, as we too the air craft and put it in the air. We started with that max performance climb where we went from the surface to 13,000 feet in just a matter of seconds. Once we get out into the air we experienced some of the maneuvers that the guys will do within with 6 airplanes flying in formation. We did some of those maneuvers ourselves," says Colonel Koltes.   

We hit speeds up to 400 miles per hour, and got up to 7Gs during some of the fast turns. We did barrel rolls, we flew sideways and we even flew upside down.

"We got to the top of our loop maneuver, we were upside down we tell you to look outside and sure enough the ground is up and the sky is down. We push forward on the stick a little bit for you and you kinda get that light feeling in your seat and that's similar to what astronauts feel when they are up there," says Colonel Koltes. 

Learning to do these maneuvers doesn't come easy, the Thunderbirds pilots are some of the worlds most elite pilots. Each pilot has thousands of hours of flight time under their belt and every year they go on a tour across America to show off their skills.  

"Our mission is to go out and show the people of Yuma and throughout the world the pride and professionalism and precision of the United States Air Force airman and the 700,000 that make the mission happen," says Colonel Koltes.  

Before the flight, News 13 was given a 2 hour brief on how to fly and there's a lot to learn like how to breath, how to get in and out of the G-suits and how to eject safely in the case of an emergency. 

Luckily we didn't have to worry about the ejecting part but the breathing techniques came in handy. Breathing at these altitudes isn't easy with all the force and pressure your body experiences. 

After our time in the sky we made a smooth landing back at the Marine Corps Air Station. 

You can catch the Thunderbirds this Saturday at MCAS here in Yuma The Gates open at 8am and the show starts at 10am. Admission and parking is free.

  • Email Alert Sign Up

    Sign up here to receive breaking news stories from KSWT.com and morning updates to your email inbox.

    * denotes required fields


    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.

KSWT-TV Affiliates

Go to KSWT-TV's Facebook page
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Minnesota man kills intruders; admits he was waiting for them.

    Minnesota man kills intruders; admits he was waiting for them.

    LITTLE FALLS, Minn. -Jurors heard an audio recording Tuesday of the moments when two teenagers were fatally shot by a Minnesota homeowner who says he feared for his life after several previous break-ins. Byron Smith, 65, of Little Falls, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder inthe slayings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kiferon Thanksgiving Day 2012. The shooting stunned the small city and stirred debate about how far people can go in defending their homes. Smith t...More >>
    LITTLE FALLS, Minn. -Jurors heard an audio recording Tuesday of the moments when two teenagers were fatally shot by a Minnesota homeowner who says he feared for his life after several previous break-ins. Byron Smith, 65, of Little Falls, is charged with first-degree premeditated murder inthe slayings of 17-year-old Nick Brady and 18-year-old Haile Kiferon Thanksgiving Day 2012. The shooting stunned the small city and stirred debate about how far people can go in defending their homes. Smith t...More >>
  • Arizona, NH to get federal education funding

    Arizona, NH to get federal education funding

    Efforts to turn around Arizona's persistently low-performing schools will be getting a $10 million boost from the federal government.More >>
    Efforts to turn around Arizona's persistently low-performing schools will be getting a $10 million boost from the federal government.More >>
  • DEA wants you to dispose of unused medications

    DEA wants you to dispose of unused medications

    The Yuma Police Department has teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Agency in an effort to dispose of your unused prescriptions. The DEA is accepting all expired and unused medications which will in turn be placed in and incinerator and destroyed; along with the drugs any labels will also be destroyed. The event is this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Yuma Police Department parking lot off of 16th Street and 1st Avenue. There's no cost to drop off your medications, all they ask is th...More >>
    The Yuma Police Department has teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Agency in an effort to dispose of your unused prescriptions. The DEA is accepting all expired and unused medications which will in turn be placed in and incinerator and destroyed; along with the drugs any labels will also be destroyed. The event is this Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the Yuma Police Department parking lot off of 16th Street and 1st Avenue. There's no cost to drop off your medications, all they ask is th...More >>
  • MCAS Squadron 371 homecoming

    MCAS Squadron 371 homecoming

    Yuma, AZ - Families anxiously waited for their loved ones to arrive after a 7 month deployment to Afghanistan.   More >>
  • ICSO: Heber CA Shooting suspect arrested

    ICSO: Heber CA Shooting suspect arrested

    HEBER, CA.- Sheriff's deputies arrest a suspect in connection to a shooting over the weekend. The Imperial County Sheriff's Office says 31 year old Gilbert Vasquez of El Centro shot at three people afterMore >>

    The Imperial County Sheriff's Office says 31 year old Gilbert Vasquez of El Centro shot at three people after a verbal dispute over personal matters.More >>

  • San Luis teen sentenced to prison for attempting to transport drugs for sale

    San Luis teen sentenced to prison for attempting to transport drugs for sale

    YUMA, AZ- A San Luis teen is sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for attempting to transport drugs for sale. Mark Anthony Roque was arrested in June of 2011 after a large amount of drugs were found inMore >>
    A San Luis teen is sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison for attempting to transport drugs for sale.More >>
  • U.S. Border Patrol El Centro sector seize meth valued $700,000

    U.S. Border Patrol El Centro sector seize meth valued $700,000

    Imperial County--U.S. Border patrol agents assigned to the Indio station seized more than $700,000 worth of meth at the Highway 86 border patrol checkpoint near Indio. The incident occurred during earlyMore >>
    U.S. Border patrol agents assigned to the Indio station seized more than $700,000 worth of meth at the Highway 86 border patrol checkpoint near Indio.More >>
  • Man arrested at Andrade Port of Entry with narcotics

    Man arrested at Andrade Port of Entry with narcotics

    WINTERHAVEN, CA.- A 59 year old man is arrested at the Andrade Port of Entry after more than a half million dollars worth of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine is found hidden in his vehicle. U.S.More >>
    A 59 year old man is arrested at the Andrade Port of Entry after more than a half million dollars worth of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine is found hidden in his vehicle.More >>

KSWT Facebook Feeds