Air Combat USA is absolutely committed to safety. Our aircraft are maintained in strict accordance with Federal Air Regulations and our instructors, both military and civilian, have enviable credentials. Most are former military pilots from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps., several are graduates of Red Flag and the Navy Fighter Weapons School. The military rules of engagement establish safe minimum altitudes and distances between the aircrafts throughout the maneuvers. Our proven training techniques will put you at ease at the controls and give you the confidence to execute even the most complex air combat maneuvers for an amazing flying adventure.
Based on our experience, less than 10% of our guest pilots suffer from motion sickness. We attribute this low rate to the fact that you are in control of the aircraft. You are far less likely to become ill while in control than as a passenger.
Secondly, you will be taught to focus on your opponent at all times; not the horizon. This will not only ensure you get the kill, it will provide a more stable reference point. Nonetheless, this is your experience. Should at any time during the flight, you begin to feel uncomfortable, simply lighten up on the controls and tell your instructor. He will do what he can to make your flying adventure more enjoyable.
Air Combat USA’s customers come from all walks of life and ages. Katrina Mumaw flew her first mission at age eight. Helen Wallace is a great-grandmother from Washington and after flying Phase I, has returned to fly Phases II and III. In general, 90% of our adventure flying customers are either armchair fighter pilots who dream of such an experience, or adventure seekers who are continually stretching the edges of the envelope.
Most of our customers do not have a pilot’s license, and many have never flown in a single-engine aircraft. Any advantage a pilot may have over a non-pilot is soon neutralized when they take the stick of the Marchetti and engage in aerial dogfights and other flying adventures.
Absolutely! Second only to safety is our pledge for you to have FUN! FUN! FUN! It is a flying experience you will talk about and remember forever. Everyone can do it. During your flying adventure, you will be continually coached by your instructor pilot to ensure a successful mission, and you will walk away with a unique sense of achievement that will be difficult to top.
A customer may register for all four Air Combat adventure flying phases by calling our National Headquarters in Fullerton, CA. Advanced Phases focus on more complex maneuvers and appeal to the frustrated fighter pilot or aviation enthusiast. For best results the phases should be spread out over four days to allow ample time to assimilate the video tapes from each flight and prepare for the next phase. Several Air Combat USA locations make great family getaways with reasonable lodging and a variety of local attractions.
You can request a pilot from the instructors sent on a given deployment. Usually there are 3 – 4 assigned to a location. You are welcome to choose one of them. We don’t always know who is going on a deployment until the month beforehand due to their schedules. All of our instructors are excellent and bring a wealth of experience to the program.
Expect to be with us 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Upon arrival you will suit up in a flight suit and attend the ground school portion of our program. You will learn safety procedures, tactics and maneuvers, rules of engagement and the physiological effects of g-force. Then you’ll grab a parachute and helmet, head out to the aircraft, and climb into the cockpit alongside your instructor pilot for the actual air combat mission. Your entire experience is recorded on mini DVC and is reviewed in the post-flight de-brief. The tapes are yours to keep.
It is best to refer you to the Federal Aviation Regulations, Section 61.51. In layman’s terms, you may log flight experience in your logbook. However, if it is to be counted toward a specific rating or certificate it must be endorsed by an authorized flight instructor defined as a CFI (Certified Flight Instructor). Some of our instructor pilots have their CFI rating and may endorse the time. Otherwise the entry is for your own reference only.
The best reference guide for fighter combat maneuvers is called FIGHTER COMBAT Tactics and Maneuvering, by Robert L. Shaw. It is published by Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD and is available at Amazon.com.
Our guest pilots range in age from teenagers to 90 years-old, with the majority between the ages of 25 – 60. We have not set a minimum age, however, we like participants to be at least teenagers since they will be doing 90% of the flying and most likely flying against an adult.
The height limit is 6′ 6″ tall and the weight limit is 250 pounds. Each guest pilot will sign a “waiver of liability” at the airport before they fly. If they a under 18, they will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign the waiver on their behalf.
When you have completed your mission, you will be given your flight video on an SD Card. The SD card will play on any computer or TV with the appropriate card reader.
Note: If you have Windows Media Player on your computer, you may not need to go through the following steps. Simply insert the SD Card in the appropriate card reader on your computer. Then follow the next six steps…
If you do NOT have Windows Media Player, you may first need to download VLC from VideoLan. You can do this by going to www.videolan.org/vlc/
You will see the traffic cone logo in the middle of the page.
Select Get VLC for Windows or Mac OS X. Once it has successfully downloaded, VLC will simply play in the background.
If all else fails call our office and we will walk you through it.
If you purchased your flight through a reseller or at a non profit event you are bound by the terms and conditions of that sale and exempt from our refund policy. If you purchased directly from Air Combat USA, you are entitled to a refund, less a 10% refund fee provided you are within the refund period and you are not within 30 days of the scheduled flight date. This fee will also apply to withdrawals when no flight date is scheduled. Any flight canceled on the thirtieth day or less from your flight date will be subject to the 20% cancellation fee. No refund will be granted for cancellations received within 24 hours of the flight date or for a “no-show”. All refunds must be requested in writing and received by our office and be received within the refund period (i.e. 120 days of purchase). No refunds will be granted after the refund period.
There is no penalty to reschedule a mission/flight provided the request is at least 30 days prior to the flight date. However, a 20% fee based on the retail price (example: Phase I = $279.00) of the flight will apply to any mission/flight cancelled less than 30 days of the flight date, unless the seat can be refilled. We have found this policy necessary so that we have enough time to make canceled spaces available to others and the remaining customer has an opponent. Substitutions are permitted provided the Air Combat USA office is notified of the replacement at least 72 hours prior to the flight date.
Should Air Combat USA determine in the interest of safety, the weather is not suitable for flying, we will reschedule the flight at the earliest possible date and time.