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Craziest/most fun thing you've ever done.

Old 02-05-20, 09:48 AM
  #1  
Notso_fastLane
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Craziest/most fun thing you've ever done.

For me, in spite of the fact that I race motorcycles, nothing has beat my weekend flying with Fighter Combat International.

They were a client of mine (I was a partner in an engineering firm) and offered me the 'employee discount' do go do a fighter combat weekend with them. That was an offer that was just too good to pass up!

So I got a buddy of mine who also wanted to do it, and set it up.

We did some basic aerobatics (loop, aileron roll), high G turns, before lining up in a couple of offense/defense drills. We each set up n the other guy's six, about 600 feet back, and start turning when they call fight on. The sensation can't be compared to anything else. It was incredible. The g-onset is fast...really fast. In an Extra 300, with ~400 deg/sec roll rate, you go from straight and level to 90 degrees and 5 gs in a matter of seconds.

Then we did a head on merge with the instructors flying and our job was basically to keep eyes on target and 'feel' how the plane flies.

My buddy flying with me didn't handle the maneuvering so well, and spent about the second half of the flight with his face buried in the airsickness bag. He's a trooper, though and didn't ask to RTB. Just let the pilot fly and went along for the ride.

First thing they do is some 'G-awareness' turns to see how you react to high g-loads. First 3g, then 5g turn. I have had some experience with high g turns in the past when I was much younger, but I handled them just fine, not even a little bit of tunnel vision in the 5g turn. I was a bit surprised at how quickly the aircraft pulled g load, there wasn't much of a gradual build. The plane banked, and pretty much immediately pulled into the g-load. Then we did an aileron roll, and a loop. The pilot demonstrated, then I got to do it as well.

After that, we did what they call a 'perch setup' where one aircraft sets up behind the other and tries to maneuver for a shot, while the other aircraft tries to not get shot. The pilots demo it, then we each got to fly, once as the target, and once as the aggressor.

Unfortunately, after the first two perch setups, my buddy started getting a bit queasy. So we took a short break and went and flew some aerobatic maneuvers while he was trying to get back into the game. We did a hammer head stall first, which was much less violent than I would have expected, and pretty tame actually. We followed that with a Lumshevak, which was really fun! The plane is essentially tumbling out of control for a few tumbles before recovering. Then we did a knife edge spinup. It's hard to describe, but the plane goes up vertically, yaws until the wings are in the vertical axis, then spins around the vertical axis, all while continuing to climb.
Day 2 was more of the same intro stuff, but just as a refresher. A few basic maneuvers, some mock fights, then for real, "fight on".

I won the first two fights, and the third was a draw (no one could get a clean shot, and we were losing altitude pretty quickly).

The not to be missed highlight reel with full cheesy soundtrack:

https://vimeo.com/190378148

Basic Aerobatics
Aileron Roll -
Loop -
Cuban 8 -
Inverted Flight -
Advanced Aerobatics
Hammerhead Stall 1 -
(pilot flying)
Hammerhead Stall 2 -
(me flying)
Tail Slide 1 -
Tail Slide 2 -
Torque Roll -
Extreme Aerobatics
Knife Edge Spin Up -
Lumshevak -
Upright Spin -
Inverted Spin -
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Old 02-05-20, 11:15 AM
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I once opened a bag of Doritos from the wrong end. I know, wild wacky stuff, right?!

Kidding aside, I guess skydiving would have to be it. It was exhilarating and definitely outside my comfort zone. That was 25 years ago, but I can relive it in my head anytime.

Never heard of a Cuban 8, but it looked similar to an Immelmann turn...which I learned of in a video game (don't hate me .
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Old 02-05-20, 11:35 AM
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After backpacking across Lake Chelan, I took a sea plane back. The pilot was about 85, and easily distracted. For a while he just kept putting at hillsides taking about bears. Someone had given him a cinnamon sticky bun, I didn't realize at the time that he had dropped it, I just saw him slump forward in his chair. I thought "this is it," he had just died of a heart attack, and I didn't know how to land the plane.
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Old 02-05-20, 11:48 AM
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One of the easily relatable things I did that was super fun was the Racing Experience thing, Mario Andretti something or another at AMS here in Hampton, GA. I am not much of a 'ride with someone' kind of guy. Prefer the drivers seat. Riding around the race track and road course with a professional driver was quite a rush.
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Old 02-05-20, 12:23 PM
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Closest experience I've had was a WWII combat flight sim game. Lotsa fun, especially the Japanese planes. Can't do that in real life. Chronic sinus inflammation and congestion wreck my balance. Same reason I couldn't pass the Navy dive physical even as a teenager.

Most of my crazy stunts were on two wheels, occasionally four. When I think back to the stuff I did as a younger man in cars with passengers, I'm just grateful I never wrecked. Wouldn't want that on my conscience, or the trauma it would have inflicted on friends and families. All my self-inflicted, unforced wrecks were on two wheels, with painful results but no serious injuries.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:04 PM
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Not too much crazy physical stuff here. Had a really fun bike tour rollin down Mt Haleakala on Maui with the wife once. Scuba diving with tropical fish all around and the occasional sea turtle was really cool too.

I play violin in my local community orchestra. One time in rehearsal for the Bruch concerto with a guest soloist (the soloist only ever shows up for the dress rehearsal and performance), the conductor asked me to play the solo (slow movement only) to help the orchestra get an idea what they'd be accompanying. I hadn't played it myself since lessons like 30 years previous, and had to try to read it out of the conductor's score, but it was MAGICAL. The technical parts I muffed/approximated, but the lyrical parts? I SANG. Everybody clapped after. I hope I get to do it again sometime. Next time we host a violin soloist I'll put in some practice time on my own just in case.
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Old 02-05-20, 02:44 PM
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Rode a bike from Seattle, WA, to Bar Harbor, ME (with two forays into Canada) then to Philadelphia, PA, then to Ocean City, NJ, unsupported, yo!
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Old 02-05-20, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
I once opened a bag of Doritos from the wrong end. I know, wild wacky stuff, right?!

Kidding aside, I guess skydiving would have to be it. It was exhilarating and definitely outside my comfort zone. That was 25 years ago, but I can relive it in my head anytime.

Never heard of a Cuban 8, but it looked similar to an Immelmann turn...which I learned of in a video game (don't hate me .
I did the skydiving thing once too. Static line, so no freefall.

A cuban 8 is basically 2 Immelmans back to back.
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Old 02-05-20, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
One of the easily relatable things I did that was super fun was the Racing Experience thing, Mario Andretti something or another at AMS here in Hampton, GA. I am not much of a 'ride with someone' kind of guy. Prefer the drivers seat. Riding around the race track and road course with a professional driver was quite a rush.
That is a ton of fun. Even though I race motorcycles, getting to ride along in a 650 HP 2017 Z06 at Roebling raceway was a ton of fun. Cars make speed totally differently than bikes.
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Old 02-05-20, 04:39 PM
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Craziest most fun? I was fairly mundane and I am downright boring now.

Ages 18 to 30 something were my "fun" days . . .

- Ages 20 to 22 ('85 - '87) I was a student pilot flying Cessna 152s. I got to solo a lot both locally and cross country. Had lots of fun doing the low G maneuvers that plane could do. Plus "river racing" in a C152 at tree top level was fun as well. Turned out I was a poor pilot candidate due to motion sickness, boy how it sucked flyin' a hot summer solo cross country when all you wanna do is puke. Good thing I guess, as my student pilot money ran out in no time.

I should have known as I used to get queasy in the Gulf of Mexico on hot summer days with slow swells rolling the boat when I was a teen. I still get motion sick on airliners if the weather is bad for long enough time. Nothin' like sittin' in a cold nauseated sweat while other passengers are hollerin' for God.

I remember how badly I wanted to sky dive back in the 1980s. Class was only $150.00 which included ground instruction and a solo jump on the first go up in a plane. Yet, I was that student pilot when that price was active and didn't have the $150 to blow. Times sure were different, rules changed at some point after that when you got to solo jump.

- Ages 26 to maybe 30, I raced motorcross and enduro motorcycles on a very amateur level. Never won a race, but had tons of fun doing it. Never got good enough to jump a triple, nads were too small apparently. I should have started younger when the nads were much larger.


Last edited by FiftySix; 02-06-20 at 08:24 AM.
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Old 02-05-20, 04:54 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Closest experience I've had was a WWII combat flight sim game. Lotsa fun, especially the Japanese planes. Can't do that in real life. Chronic sinus inflammation and congestion wreck my balance. Same reason I couldn't pass the Navy dive physical even as a teenager.
I was addicted to those games in the early 2000s. I still have all the IL2 franchise games up to "46", but gave away my controls like an idiot. I'd like to try it again someday.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:08 PM
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What most people would call "dog fighting" has been described as the most fun you can have with your clothes on. It is an absolute rush. You saw the beginning type of training setups to teach BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuvers) which is 1v1 maneuvering. With faster aircraft, you would have done 3K (3,000 feet) perch setups then 6k then 9k with just a little altitude advantage given to the attacker. After that, you would do "neutral" setups with jets starting co-altitude, co-airspeed, and usually line abreast or 180 degrees aspect out passing head on. Next building block is ACM (Air Combat Maneuvering) which is multi-ship maneuvering against a bandit starting at 2v1 then 2v2 then 2v4 then 4v2 then 4v4 then 4vX. All of these, of course, involve training to employ weapons such as gun or missiles. Developing the Situational Awareness to keep track of everybody is pretty challenging but it is an amazing physical and mental high.
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Old 02-05-20, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I was addicted to those games in the early 2000s. I still have all the IL2 franchise games up to "46", but gave away my controls like an idiot. I'd like to try it again someday.
I had WarBirds. It's in the closet somewhere along with the joystick controller. Haven't played any video games in at least 10 years. Usually bicycling keeps me busy enough but on icy rainy days like today when I'm home sick, I'm kinda tempted to revive my dormant Steam account.
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Old 02-05-20, 07:14 PM
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Wow, not sure which/what is crazy... SCUBA diving in the Phillipines, teaching SCUBA for several years, 5 days crossing the Sea of Cortez in a small sail boat... or cycling the length of Baja or flying in small planes to remote sites to install communication gear.

Kinda enjoyed all of it... and more. Never jumped out of a plane though... the wife did that. Of course, we'll always have Paris...
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Old 02-05-20, 10:13 PM
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30 second free fall.

A friend and I fought a rifle away from a bad guy once.
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Old 02-05-20, 10:17 PM
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This is fun and involves bikes too... https://www.facebook.com/groups/1683288705275035/
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Old 02-06-20, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Trevtassie View Post
This is fun and involves bikes too... https://www.facebook.com/groups/1683288705275035/
Arrrgh. Gotta log in to see.
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Old 02-06-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
Arrrgh. Gotta log in to see.
Well, there is your chance to do something really dangerous.

All I can think of is cycling. 1000k rando was pretty cool, but I am happier with getting 300 in a day at the National 24 Hour Challenge. I wish I could say I did PBP. I qualified and got on the list, but the real estate market was so far in the tank that I used my trip money I saved to buy a condo instead.
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Old 02-06-20, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by FiftySix View Post
I was addicted to those games in the early 2000s. I still have all the IL2 franchise games up to "46", but gave away my controls like an idiot. I'd like to try it again someday.
I highly recommend Aces High: https://www.hitechcreations.com/index.php

Free to download and play/fly offline or LAN. There's a subscription if you want to play online (totally worth it, IMO).
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Old 02-06-20, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chewybrian View Post
Well, there is your chance to do something really dangerous.
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Old 02-06-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
I highly recommend Aces High: https://www.hitechcreations.com/index.php

Free to download and play/fly offline or LAN. There's a subscription if you want to play online (totally worth it, IMO).
So tempting. I'd have to buy another HOTAS, pedals, and TrackIr to enjoy it properly.
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Old 02-06-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
That is a ton of fun. Even though I race motorcycles, getting to ride along in a 650 HP 2017 Z06 at Roebling raceway was a ton of fun. Cars make speed totally differently than bikes.
I have never raced motorcycles in any manner of organized event type thing. I rode them for a lot of years. Much less relatable to those who don't ride would be just about ANY day ride up to the mountains on a capable machine of racing heritage.
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Old 02-06-20, 02:57 PM
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Race Bike '09 Ninja 250R

Street Bike '08 CBR600RR

Aerobatic Ride Extra 300L

Jeff's vette 2017
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Old 02-06-20, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan Foote View Post
I have never raced motorcycles in any manner of organized event type thing. I rode them for a lot of years. Much less relatable to those who don't ride would be just about ANY day ride up to the mountains on a capable machine of racing heritage.
Oddly, my street bike is much faster than my race bike.

My race bike tops out around 110 mph. I've gotten it to about 115 pulling out of a draft on the front straight, but that's about it.

For comparison, my street bike, I've seen 165 mph indicated, was probably only about 158 or so. That's almost red line in 6th gear.
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Old 02-06-20, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Notso_fastLane View Post
Oddly, my street bike is much faster than my race bike.
One of my friends had a Ninja 250. VERY capable in the corners. Even on my 900RR it was all up to the grades and straights for me to stay with him.
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