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Preparing to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds

If I’m a little water-logged today, I apologize.

I’m drinking water until I’m “silly,” preparing for a media flight tomorrow with the amazing aerial demonstration team the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. (I’m pinching myself on that one!)

The Thunderbirds are performing Saturday and Sunday at McConnell Air Force Base’s open house and air show. They’ll perform at 3 p.m each day.

It’s a thrill to have been selected. And I can’t wait until tomorrow. But it also means drinking lots of water today. Hydration combats motion sickness, and that should start 24 hours before the flight.

“Drink water until you’re silly and then drink another bottle,” the planners said. “This step is the key.”

Hey, you don’t have to tell me twice. While it doesn’t take water to make me a little silly, I’m drinking like a sailor on a 24-hour leave.

Capt. Kristen Hubbard, who has logged more than 950 hours of flight time in the F-16, is the pilot tomorrow.

Before the flight, I’ll  meet with the Thunderbirds’ “life support” team to get fitted with a flight suit, G-suit and boots. A flight surgeon will listen to my lungs and heart to make sure I’m physically fit to fly. Then I’ll meet Capt. Hubbard, who will talk me through the maneuvers we’ll be doing on the flight.

The flight is scheduled for 2:00, weather permitting. It should be the ride of a lifetime!

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