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Reporter flies with Aeroshell Team at Louisville-Winston Airport

Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 6:48 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The pressure of G-force is no joke, especially when riding in a high-speed aircraft. Newscenter 11′s reporter Nicholas Brooks got to experience that firsthand when he went for a ride with the Aeroshell Team at the Louisville-Winston Airport Saturday.

The reporter was given a safety brief in case of an emergency before we took off. I was strapped into a parachute and tightly snug into my seatbelt. I even had a headphone to communicate with the pilot. I was all ready to go.

The reporter was able to see everything with a bird’s eye view. 5 minutes into the ride, and I’m already holding on for dear life.

The issues came once the pilot began to do extreme maneuvers. We did three loops in the air, and that’s when I almost lost consciousness due to the g-force that made me weigh four times my weight. Thankfully, I was able to stick it out.

The reporter made it to the ground safely, where he talked with pilots about the importance of what they do and to promote aviation awareness.

“We want young people to think about aviation as a career. It is a wonderful career opportunity. Secondly, we want the people in this county to know we got a first-class airport and it is an important part of our economic development. The first thing a visitor sees – they don’t typically drive, they fly here to asset the territory,” said Mike Forster, president of Louisville-Winston County Airport.

One organizer said he got into aviation when he went to his first airshow as a kid.

“I’ve been in aviation since I was 18 years old in the Airforce back in Vietnam. This started back many years ago. I went to my first air show back in 1982 at sun ‘n fun Lakeland Florida. I saw a guy doing airshows, and I figured out I can do air shows,” said George Cline - air boss of wings over Winston Airshow.

“I tell people - what you like about flying? No red lights, no stop signs, no speed limit, and no road rage. It is a beautiful place to be, and it is in the air. I still never take it for granted. I am appreciative every minute I am up there doing my thing,” said Steve Gustafson – fly left-wing Aeroshell.

One pilot shared a story of an encounter with a person at an air show in 2018 that he will never forget.

“This gentleman showed me a picture of his dad and a picture of his grandfather in a Mexican livery. It was painted up like they had in Mexico of this particular aircraft that was flown by his father and his grandfather. It was a really neat story. The young man was really great to be with,” said Jimmy Fordham - slot pilot.

The Wings Over Winston Air Show is an annual event that’s free to the public at the Louisville-Winston Airport.

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