FighterSweep Fans, tens of thousands of people, maybe even hundreds of thousands, have dreamed of flying in a fighter of some type or other. It is an experience difficult to describe with words, and the feeling it leaves you with echoes each and every time you see or hear another pointy-nosed military aircraft ripping through the sky. Even for veteran pilots, the harsh reality is the majority of those wanting the experience will never have it.
My father, a veteran himself, joined the Navy and really wanted to be a fighter pilot; however, during the Vietnam era, there wasn’t such a thing as a waiver for poor eyesight. The closest he ever got was an incentive ride in an A-4 Skyhawk at NAS Lemoore. His favorite airplane to this day is the P-51 Mustang, and he still thinks about what it might be like to fly one.
So let’s take a look at the story of Jack Dorshaw, a Marine Corps veteran–and a pilot–who still spends almost every weekend flying. During his thirty years of service in both the Marines and Army Air Corps, he logged literally thousands of hours in a total of ten different types of airplanes. Because he has more than 50 years of flying recorded in his logbook, the FAA even presented him with a Master Pilot Award.
One might think with all those hours spread across five decades that he’s one of those guys who’s “done it all” in his flying career. The truth is, his biggest wish is one never fulfilled, and that is to experience the sights, sounds, and sensations of flying in a high-performance fighter aircraft.
NBC Nightly News Correspondent Kristen Dahlgren was there to witness his dream come true, and the entire experience was recorded for us to see. So sit back, crank the volume, and prepare to get punched right in the feels.