LSU's Paul Mainieri takes to the skies with USAF Thunderbirds
LAKE CHARLES - LSU Baseball coach Paul Mainieri reported to Chennault International Airport Friday morning for his chance to live a lifelong dream of suiting up and taking off on a demonstration flight with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
Mainieri, who was baseball coach at the United State Air Force Academy from 1989-94, was fitted for a flight suit, attended classes about the effects of G-forces and learned about flight and ejection procedures.
He met with his pilot, Major Scott “Cheetah” Petz, and strapped in for a mid-morning takeoff.
Coach Mainieri is at Chennault Airport for the beginning of his training. Her he is with Captain Sara Harper. pic.twitter.com/9ZghbGhjlh— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) October 23, 2015
He's ready! pic.twitter.com/v01bA2NzIK— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) October 23, 2015
Here's the F-16 Mainieri will be flying in! His name is even painted on the jet canopy. pic.twitter.com/1uhM1UY567— LSU Baseball (@LSUbaseball) October 23, 2015
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform at air shows around the world, educating the public about the mission of the Air Force. For more information on the Thunderbirds, visit www.afthunderbirds.com.