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Rich Caniglia flies with the USAF Thunderbirds

Updated: 08/15/2014 5:25 PM
Created: 08/15/2014 9:18 AM WHEC.com

You may have heard some thunder in the sky and realized it was a flock of fighter jets. The famous Thunderbirds are in Rochester preparing to fly in this weekend's air show. But before they wow the crowds, they took our own Rich Caniglia up for a thrill of a life time.

Rich explains what it was like:

Straight up -- up to the wild blue yonder. Upside down, sideways were just some of the moves I experienced today riding with the Thunderbirds.

My pilot was Major Mike Fisher – a pro’s pro. He detailed everything we would do for the day and then we did it.

Before we could take off, I had to get fitted for my suit, get briefed by the Air Force doctor, meet with the pilot and then we were ready to go!

After the dramatic take off from the Rochester airport, we flew all the way to Pennsylvania. The trip took 10 minutes. We flew in a military flight zone to do all the tricks and maneuvers the Thunderbirds are famous for including barrel rolls and four and eight-point turns.

My favorite move was called the “knife’s edge.” This move is where you fly at 90 degrees but you stay straight -- you don’t turn. I liked this one so much we did it twice!

Our trip back to Rochester was low and slow. We cruised at about 2,000 feet over Hemlock Lake and back to the Greater Rochester International Airport. The whole trip took about an hour.

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