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 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.
Will I suffer motion sickness while engaging in air combat?
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’re taught to focus on your opponent at all times; not the horizon. This not only ensures you get the kill, it provides 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.
What kind of people do this?
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 pushing the envelope.
Do I need any flying experience?
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.
Can I do this? Will I have fun?
Absolutely! Second only to safety is our pledge for you to have FUN! FUN! FUN! It is a flying experience you’ll talk about and remember forever. Everyone can do it. During your flying adventure, you’re continually coached by your instructor pilot to ensure a successful mission, and you walk away with a unique sense of achievement that’s difficult to top.
How do I sign up for Advanced Phases?
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. Air Combat USA’s location makes great family getaways with reasonable lodging and a variety of local attractions.
What is the difference between the "Phase I" and "Fighter Lead-In" Programs?
There are three main differences between the Phase I and the Fighter Lead in Program (FLIP).
The Phase I is one mission (approx. one hour) and the FLIP is two missions (approx. one hour each).
You become a squadron member when you have completed the FLIP, which entitles you to fly at the current Squadron Member rates.
As for what you learn, they are basically the same. The FLIP takes the same tactics and maneuvers you learn in Phase I but gives you more practice. The first flight concentrates on the practice and is toned down so that you build tolerance to the g-forces. While, the Phase I has about 15 minutes of practice and then you go right into the dogfights.
How many hours does the Phase I require?
Expect to be with us two and a half – three hours. Upon arrival, you suit up in a flight suit and attend the ground school portion of our program. You learn safety procedures, tactics and maneuvers, rules of engagement, and the physiological effects of g-force. Then you 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.
Can I log the time in my pilot logbook?
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.
What can I read to prepare for what I will be doing with Air Combat USA?
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.
What are the age, height, weight, and language requirements?
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’re doing 90% of the flying and most likely flying against an adult.
The height limit is 6′ 5″ tall and the weight limit is 245 pounds. Each guest pilot signs a “waiver of liability” at the airport before they fly. If they are under 18, they need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to sign the waiver on their behalf.
Each guest pilot must be able to understand and speak English. Since they’re doing a majority of the flying, guest pilots are receiving directions throughout the flight from our pilots. It is important that both our pilots and guest pilots are able to communicate quickly and effectively.
How do I view the Hi-Def video of my flight on my computer or TV?
When you have completed your mission, you’re given your flight video on an SD Card. The SD card plays 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…
Open the SD Card titled NoName.
Click on Private
Click on the AVCHD folder
Click on BDMV
Click on Stream
Select the separate video files
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.
Now insert your SD Card into the card reader on your computer.
Look for the card called NoName on your desktop or in your computer files and CLICK on it.
CLICK on Private!
Then CLICK on AVCHD
CLICK on BDMV
Click on Stream
Now select the screen shot of your video or the appropriate video files
If all else fails call our office and we can walk you through it.
What is your refund policy?
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 30th 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.
What if I have to reschedule my flight date?
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.
What is your weather policy?
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.