Air Combat USA

US: 1-800-522-7590 • International: 001 714 525 7590

Banner Image

About Air Combat USA

Air Combat USA, established in 1988, is the original civilian dog fighting school. With over 20 years of experience and over 48,000 guest pilots flown, Air Combat USA is the largest, most recognized air combat school in the world. We’ve been featured on hundreds of television shows including The Apprentice and Good Morning America! As the industry leader, we work hand-in hand with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other governing agencies to define the parameters and establish safety guidelines used to regulate the air combat industry.

The mission at Air Combat USA is to provide an extraordinary fighter pilot experience! We set the standard for program design and execution, offering a fighter pilot experience second to none! Captain Mike Blackstone, founder and president of Air Combat USA, developed and patented the tracking system that verifies an air-to-air “kill” and equipped the aircraft with on-board cameras to ensure that the entire experience is recorded on digital videocassette for playback after the engagements.  The result — “everything is real… except the bullets!”

“I’ve never experienced anything like my ‘combat’ session. The pilot of the other Marchetti wasn’t an auto parts guy from New Jersey, he was the enemy. It’s amazing to me how quickly a marketing consultant can change into an aggressor. Splash one auto parts guy on one of the best days of my life. I’ll be back.”

Eric Fischer, New York City, NY

The Flight Process

As our guest-pilot, you will be fitted with a flight suit, helmet, and parachute in preparation for your flight. During your ground school, you will cover the tactical maneuvers required to get results during your flight. The integrity of the Air Combat USA multiphase program is based on highly trained instructor pilots and a field tested course outline. Each mission is tailored to your level of experience, ability and aggressiveness, from armchair to ace. Whether you sign up for Phase I or all four phases, the course is designed to provide you with a complete fighter pilot experience.

For more details, ask us for a copy of a complete course syllabus.

Having completed your ground school instruction, you are now ready to roll back the canopy and climb into the cockpit of the SIAI Marchetti aircraft alongside your instructor pilot. The side-by-side seating is unique to this military aircraft and allows you to have more time at the controls of the aircraft than tandem-style front/back seating. You will fly the aircraft up to 90% of the time.

During your Phase I mission, you will try your hand at formation flying and practice the various maneuvers discussed in ground school until you are comfortable with the aircraft. Then the real fun begins as you and your instructor work as a team to outsmart, outmaneuver, and outgun your opponents through six “g-pulling” dogfights. A direct hit will register through our patented electronic tracking system including sound effects, and smoke will trail from the other aircraft. Three cockpit cameras will record the action including a gun-sight mounted camera that capture the sights and sounds of every kill.

When you return to home base after your flight, we will play back the videos taken from each aircraft simultaneously for a chance to relive your kills and view the dogfights from your opponent’s perspective. Your instructor pilot will offer suggestions and relate the flight activities to the ground school theory, giving you even greater insight into the art of aerial combat.

“‘Fire now,’ Mr. Armstrong said, ‘Keep firing. You can’t run out of bullets.’ An intermittent electronic tone pierced the cockpit as the Marchetti fired its electronic bullets. Then, as the other aircraft centered in the cross hairs, the tone became continuous, indicating a hit, and a trail of smoke shot from under the fuselage.”

Excerpt from Feature Story, Jay Romano,The New York Times, May 23, 1993