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Monday, May 27th
– L-39 Flight
Just as I felt cozy an iron fist collapsed my entire body and I felt the blood draining out of my head. I started to get tunnel vision: A 5G vertical climb pretty much left me breathless. After a softer level out and some words with the pilot over intercom. I told him, that was about all I could stomach and so he gave me the stick. Me! Yikes! It felt very heavy, but precise to the touch, a lot like turning the wheels on a real F1. Immediate reaction of the plane and my stomach. Anyway, I did a bunch of banked turns watching the speed, altitude, bank angle and variometer. It was great fun, as I understood most of the instrumentation thanks to my sim. However there is only so much I can muster and it got very hot and uncomfortable under the mask, so I switched on the 100% oxygen supply. That helped a bit. Thereafter a few more loops, a low fly by over the tower with whom Alex communicated entirely in Russian (wonder if anybody spilled their coffee in there). Then final approach and landing.
Last but not least a great Russian lunch at the General's mess with exchange of gifts. Alex was very happy about the 'Above Chicago' book; I was happy to be able to use my internal organs again...On the way home Galina, my local guide from Incredible Adventures, tried to get professional movie equipment and guitars for Lulu Santos’ zero G flight. Brazilians!
Now I'm completely exhausted, physically and emotionally, so time to get some shut-eye. Tomorrow it's off to Z-G flight!
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