Now, this isn't my first time getting up in a stunt plane so I really thought I knew what to expect. At previous air shows, I've flown with Cincinnati-based aerobatic team Redline and the GEICO Skytypers flight squadron. I'm practically a pilot myself, right?
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The flight starts out smooth, with Tucker and the other plane of photographers sticking in a tight formation near us. The views are spectacular, and we speed through clouds at a low altitude.
Rather suddenly, I see Tucker’s plane make a dramatic dive toward the ground and then loop back up into a full circle. Over the headsets, I joke to Klatt: “We’re not going to do that, are we?”
“You wouldn’t want to come up all this way without doing some aerobatics?” he said.
We pull out, and the aerobatics begin. Klatt maneuvers the aircraft with ease, running us through massive loops and flipping the aircraft like a toy.
The aircraft rolls over, and we fly upside down. I feel my body come off the seat and my sunglasses fall off. Every time the plane steadies again after a move, I catch my breath and laugh a little bit.
I stopped laughing just as an overwhelming nausea hit me. I’m going to throw up in this tiny plane, I thought to myself. I look down at my phone, and try to focus on something else as I hold back gags. Then, I grab for the little motion sickness bag next to the seat.
“You OK there, buddy?” Klatt said.
No, I thought. “Yeah, I’m good,” I said.
“We’re almost to the ground,” he said.
A few minutes later, we smoothly land at the Dayton airport and I shakily get out of the aircraft and walk over to the airplane hangar. I’m relieved, slightly invigorated and absolutely queasy as I make to the bathroom.
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