EO Edmonton and The Luxus Group
In 2007, Stephen Petasky flew a mission with Air Combat USA in Las Vegas. So when the opportunity arose this year to bring his Entrepreneurs Organization Forum Group to Palm Springs, CA for a retreat and some team building, he decided to surprise them with a Top Gun Challenge at Air Combat USA at Fullerton Municipal Airport.
Upon arriving at Air Combat USA headquarters, Fullerton, CA, they met their very capable Air Combat Instructor Pilots:
- Tom Smith “Spartan” – US Naval Officer / F-18 Pilot
- Jim Neubauer “Nails” – US Naval Officer/A-7 Pilot
- Michael Von Vietinghoff – “Baron” – German Luftwaffe Officer / F-4 Pilot
- Bill McMillan “Mac” – US Marine Corps Officer / A-4 Pilot
After a short meet and greet, their moods changed from shock to heightened enthusiasm and of course, the trash talking began about who’s going down and how. Guest pilots were promptly suited up in flight suits and begin their briefing on the Basic Fighter Tactics and Maneuvers (BFM) involved in air-to-air combat.
During the briefing, guest pilots were assigned call signs like “Tiny Dancer”, “Silver Nuts”, “3-Way” and “Edge”. After the briefing, the first two challengers returned to the Paraloft/Equipment room for their parachutes and helmet fitting. Next they proudly walked to the airplanes, strapped into the cockpit alongside their instructors and launched into battle.
Every thirty minutes two more guest pilots launched on their mission. The thrill of the fight was captured on DV cassette from four different camera angles. Once safely back on the ground, the instructors debriefed the mission using the video footage shot from the gun site cameras in each mission. By early afternoon, the last two guest pilots returned and debriefed their mission to complete the day at Air Combat USA.
Congratulations to Forum C-Max of EO Edmonton for experiencing something only a handful of people ever get to do, the thrill of being a fighter pilot.
What They Had to Say
“It was an outstanding day… thanks very much! I think I will have to come back for round #3 sometime soon! Thanks!”
— S. Petasky