After watching his team take the field for the first practice of OTAs, Head Coach John Fox took an hour drive down to Colorado Springs to watch another team practice.
The Air Force demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds, was visiting Peterson Air Force Base and invited Coach Fox on board for a ride-along.
Fox underwent three hours of medical tests and training in preparation for a one-hour ride-along in one of the squadron’s F-16s.
Thunderbirds personnel fit Fox with customized equipment and trained him on how to handle the up to nine Gs that he would experience on the ride. He watched a video on how to eject and parachute in case of an emergency.
After the briefing period, the pilot brought in the bad news that the jet was having mechanical problems and wasn’t able to fly.
“I think the fact that it broke before I took off is better than if it had broken afterwards,” Fox laughed. “That’s the fortunate part and maybe we can do it another time.”
The crew invited Coach Fox to try again another day, which is something he said he’d look forward to.
“Oh yeah, sometime,” Fox said. “They’re based out of Las Vegas, so maybe if I can get over that way sometime maybe I’ll take them up on it. This time is busy for us – it just kind of worked out (today). Unfortunately this happened, but we’ll do it another time.”