C-17’s and F-16’s… This Isn’t Your Typical Bingo Game

What a great weekend I had over on Oahu.  I got to do some things that I’m sure I’ll probably never get another chance in the world to do again and I’m very thankful to the RIMPAC Countries that are participating in the exercises this year.

On Friday, I got to fly in an C-17 Military Transport jet!

We began the morning at Hickam Air Force Base at 4:45 AM so that we could be briefed on exactly what we were going to be doing and to learn about the general features of the plane we would be flying in.

We then gathered on a bus where we took a short ride out to the airfield.

We arrived at one of the two C-17’s and they brought us inside where we had some photo opportunities of the inside of the plane before taking off.

During the briefing, they told us that they would be flying over the Big Island and simulating a drop of supplies.

We took our places in our chairs and then settled in for the flight to the Big Island.

Once we got over the Big Island, the C-17 opened the back of it’s body open and we were flying with it just wide open… it was a rather scary feeling and I was glad that I was firmly planted in my seat with seat belt strapped as tight as I could make it.

Here’s a short clip of the back section opening up in mid-air.


So when we got to the “drop zone” which was basically this area on top of the Big Island…

… They launched the stuff out the back and here is a quick clip of that!


They closed up the back of the plane and then prepared for a quick touch down in Kona.  What they didn’t tell me… was that I was going to be allowed in the cockpit of the plane WHEN IT LANDED IN KONA!

It was just me, the two pilots…

… and Ian Kitiyama!

We landed in Kona and although I was back on the Big Island.. this little trip was only half over!  Here is the landing from my vantage point in the cockpit.


They opened up the back of the plane once we were on the ground, but we had to stay in the plane so this is when we had our “sack lunches” that we paid $4.25 for.

After being on the ground for about 15- 20 minutes, we took our places back in our chairs and prepared to return home.

Well about half way back to Oahu, they opened up the back of the plane and all of a sudden out of nowhere, came four F-16’s fighter jets that were there to either simulate an attack or to simulate what would happen if the plane was being attacked upon.

Here’s a short clip of what that felt like:


Well after being up in the air for about 3 hours in total both going to Kona and returning to Hickam, I knew that I had an amazing experience that will live with me for the rest of  my life!

We got back on the bus from the airfield and returned to the Hickam Squadron Command post.

They led us back to their little courtyard where we had the opportunity to ask questions of the crew about what just took place and a little further time to talk to the folks that actually flew the planes and participated in the exercise.

When all was said and done, they gave us the biographies of those that were done and they gave us this “coin” as a token of appreciation:

Psst… good to finally meet you in person Justin!

Click on the pictures below or above for a larger view: