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On ground
On ground
In flight
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Los Angeles Air Combat

Thursday, August 28, 2003
Everything Ben has ever done now pales in significance to this amazing experience.

For the true daredevil who has mastered bungy jumping, rappelling, sky diving, abseiling and swimming with sharks, just one thing is left: to be at the controls of a fighter plane and be involved in a dogfight over water.

If this is a dream of yours, or someone you know, all you have to do is get yourself to Los Angeles, make your way to Fullerton and it's up, up and away.

Air Combat USA run these adventures from Fullerton Airport.

You will be fitted for a flight suit, helmet and parachute and go to ground school to learn the tactical manoeuvres needed in combat.

You will be behind dual controls in the cockpit of a SIAI Marchetti SF260, an Italian-built light attack fighter, or an Extra 300L, a world-class aerobatic champion. Next to you is an instructor. Although they perform the take-off and landing, during the mission you fly the aircraft 90 percent of the time.

Phase 1 course teaches the basics. You're briefed on tactics, rules of engagement and the physiological effects of G-forces. Then you take to the skies for the thrill of a lifetime. In around one hour of flying, you practise formation flying, basic manoeuvres and engage in six dogfights. Each gives you the chance to manoeuvre your aircraft into position, lock on and fire. Smoke trails from the other aircraft.

Fighter lead-in program includes two air combat missions, each with pre-briefing. Flights are designed to give you more practice at the various manoeuvres, therefore better situational awareness going into the dogfights. This package comes with an authentic airforce leather flight jacket and nametag. Successful competition makes you a squadron member with frequent fighter privileges.

Back on the ground, cockpit footage is reviewed during debriefing, giving added insight into your combat technique.

Afterwards, you take your video with you, to watch and show as often as you want.

You can make arrangements before leaving for this adventure through Adrenaline Club, Australia's largest adventure organisation. They have over 50 experiences to offer, including sea kayaking, marlin fishing, mountain biking, rally driving, jet fighter flights and skydiving.

They cater for first-timers interested in doing something different, right through to those addicted to adrenaline rushes. They offer club membership and gift vouchers.


Fullerton in Southern California


The Air Combat Experience Phase 1 course costs around $1550 per person.
Qantas flies daily to Los Angeles. Return economy airfares start at $2244 from Sydney, $2324 from Melbourne and Brisbane, $2602 from Adelaide, $3079 from Perth and $3549 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of writing, but may vary at time of booking.

More information

Adrenaline Club
80 McDougall Street
Kirribilli 2061
Ph: 1800 762 763

Qantas: 13 13 13

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