With one foot on the right wing of the plane, I swing my other leg into the cockpit and slide down into the seat.
“There’s no easy way to enter a small plane,” Rieder said.
The Redline aircraft are Van’s RV08s, and go as fast as 280 miles per hour. With a 200 horsepower engine, the plane is small in size but capable of swift and sharp maneuvers in the air.
Thocker’s plane drives next to us as we head onto the runway. We quickly accelerate and take off into the sky. The ride is smooth and calm, and we head away from the airport. Looking over downtown Dayton, the buildings stand out in contrast to the outlines of rivers and streets.
Our flight lasts about 25 minutes altogether.
With low-hanging clouds, it’s hard for the pilots to show the true capability of the aircraft. The conditions are not ideal for their thrilling maneuvers. But skies clear up just for a moment, and we have a short opportunity to pull two or three G’s. G-force stands for the force of gravity on a body or the force of acceleration. The plane swings completely sideways, and we level out seconds later.
It’s an exhilarating feeling, prompting all the blood in your body to rush to your feet. Suddenly, I understood why Thocker and Rieder are addicted to the sharp excitement of aerobatic flight.
“You can just imagine what we’ll do tomorrow,” he said.