Sky Combat Ace in Las Vegas was a wild, adrenaline filled ride!
My experience at Sky Combat Ace In Las Vegas
I go to the SEMA auto show out in Las Vegas every year to keep up with collision repair industry trends, to see some nice cars and enjoy Vegas! I always seem to enjoy it just a little too much and spend a week recovering when I get back home to Austin.
I had been looking at Sky Combat flying experience for years. Since I was going to Vegas already and Sky Combat Ace is there, that sealed the deal for me. Everyone at work (Heritage Body and Frame in Austin) looked at me like I was nuts (especially since I was sporting a mohawk at the time), but I got it booked up with the guys at Sky Combat Ace and was ready to go.
I was set to fly with them Friday morning, SCA sent a shuttle with a really nice driver to pick me up at Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip. He was a super nice and told me about his experiences flying with Combat Ace and what to expect. The ride out to the airfield took about 20 minutes or so.
I got checked in at the airfield, waited a few minutes for people in the other group to show and they were no show! Evidently, they partied too much and missed the sky combat experience, which worked out for me (if you miss your time, no refunds as a pilot and plane are sitting there waiting for you).
Briefing and aircraft
The pilot assigned to me took me to the briefing room, showed me a few safety videos, then started asking what my comfort level and expectations were. It was nice, I could tell he wanted me to have a fun time and also have an amazing experience. We went over some of the ariel maneuvers we were going to do and what to do in an emergency (also, what to do if you get sick). Since I was the only customer that showed up, the intro went really fast and we got suited up and into the plane.
The brand new, all-composite, Extra 330LC is the highest performance certified aerobatic aircraft in the world with a maximum speed of 253mph and a load factor of +/- 10 G’s
The plane was neat and nice, a bright shiny red EXTRA 330LC two passenger acrobatic plane from Germany. I sat in the front and my pilot sat in the back, a few minutes looking at the controls and I was ready to be an ace.
The actual experience flying is probably best documented in the youtube video. I was given the instruction by the pilot in a very safe, controlled environment and allowed to do the ariel maneuvers. The acrobatics were intense, to say the least, and I definitely would suggest being properly hydrated and not drinking the night before (If you had a hangover, the experience might not be as good). The highlight of the adventure was the sustained 8g turn called a G-LOC where the pilot enters the plane into a sustained high g turn for a few seconds and you try to not pass out! (That is optional and the pilot double checked that I was up for it)
I really enjoyed my trip and time with these guys and it was a great adrenaline filled adventure in the beautiful city of Las Vegas.