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About Air Combat USA
Air Combat USA - Fighter Pilot For A Day®, founded in 1988, is the world's first civilian air combat school. We have a 100% Safety Record having flown over 75,000 Guest Pilots! Fly a real fighter aircraft at over 200 knots, pulling up to 5 times the force of gravity! You will pilot the Marchetti SF-260 hand's on and become a real Fighter Pilot For A Day! Our mission is to provide you with an authentic, immersive fighter pilot experience second to none. We actually invented this industry - “Everything is real… except the bullets!” You will fly a performance fighter aircraft (under the watchful eye of our IP) as you achieve an offensive position, line up your authentic gunsight to 'shoot down' the bogey with our patented 'electronic tracking system' (ETS) as your kill is registered and smoke erupts from the shot down aircraft! All flights are recorded onto a SD Card in HD format! Featured on: TopGear UK - Jeremy Clarkson, The Apprentice - Donald Trump, Game On! - Gronk +100s more!
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829ryan wrote a review Aug 2
Lancaster, California1 contribution
Highly recommend for anyone and everyone. The piolet was awesome and made the entire experience a flight to remember with al the stunts he made sure I was comfortable before moving to the next one and also defiantly recommend getting the video!
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Travelnut_10_10 wrote a review Jul 2022
Encinitas, California109 contributions60 helpful votes
Bike riding through Belmont Shores, we had a special treat watching these planes sore through the sky making figure eights. We stopped for about 20 min to marvel at their skill.
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Date of experience: July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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The_Serg wrote a review May 2022
Long Beach, California48 contributions16 helpful votes
I'm still coming down from the adrenaline high after yesterday's flight with which my wonderful partner surprised me for my birthday. This is one of those experiences that you'll cherish for the rest of your life. I've always thought about doing something like this but seeing videos of Blue Angel ride-alongs, or watching a news broadcast where they've suckered the cub reporter into doing a high flying piece about the local airshow, has always given me the feeling that you'd have to be a bit of a masochist to do this sort of thing. Well, not with this outfit. With Air Combat USA, you're in complete control. You dictate your level of adventure. It all starts with a briefing. Mike, or call sign Rocket, takes you step by step on what you'll be experiencing and what you should expect. He has two top priorities, your safety and your fun. He explains that you dictate your thrill level. If , once you get up in the sky and all you can handle is cruising up and down the coast, that's all you'll do, without any judgment. You'll just have a fun time flying around in a rad vintage fighter jet. I was very nervous once I was given the controls shortly after takeoff, but Rocket eased us into the maneuvers slowly with the intensity ramped up a little higher only if I was feeling completely comfortable. First we did a barrel roll, to the left then to the right. He checked on how I was feeling and I gave an enthusiastic thumbs up for the next stunt. It was a loop and it was more fun than any roller-coaster loop I've ever been on. Once I felt that the Gs weren't so bad, we went for another loop, faster and tighter than the last. Then on to the hammer head, straight up into the sky then falling to the left and straight towards the ocean before you pull up, feeling the g-forces pulling you into your seat. Then there was the flat spin. You know, that thing that took out Goose in Top Gun. Yeah, you learn how to fly out of those. First a 720 to the left then a 720 to the right. It was the most intense thing I've ever done in my life. Rocket checked in on me and asked if I was ready for some extra credit, but I had to call it a day. I wasn't feeling sick but I felt like one more maneuver might push me to my limit. And without a beat, Rocket suggested we play with a weapons simulator before taking a cruise down the coast and finally back to the airport. That's one thing I really enjoyed about this experience. It wasn't so much about how extreme we could get, it was about how much fun we could have, and I'll tell, it was a lot of fun. It was impossible to not have fun. Rocket's enjoyment during the flight was infectious. At times, I wondered who was having more fun, me or him, and I loved that. I can tell that Mike really enjoys flying and he loves to share his enthusiasm with novices like me. I have never flown a plane, ever, but now I can say that I've taken a Marchetti SF – 260 to limits, in barrel rolls, hammer heads, loops and spins. And I'll never forget how fun and thrilling it was. I'm not sure if I'll ever get the opportunity to do something like this again, but if I do, it will definitely be with Air Combat USA.
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Date of experience: April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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gillianhobson wrote a review Apr 2022
1 contribution
This is all my 17 year old daughter wanted for her birthday and I must admit I was very skeptical...... well I needn't have been! Mike is SO professional, knowledgeable and friendly and my daughter had the time of her life. "Best birthday present ever?" She got to control the plane for most of the flight, including many of the acrobatic manoeuvres, and landed with this massive grin on her face that lasted the whole day. (The only problem I have now, is that she wants flying lessons!). Thx Mike for an awesome and unforgettable experience!
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Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Max JC wrote a review Mar 2022
1 contribution
One of the coolest things I ever did-- highly recommended for anyone who is looking for a little thrill. The whole team is super professional, you feel in safe hands. I booked only one day in advance but despite this, everything was so well organized for me! Thank you for this amazing day!!!
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Date of experience: March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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