Our day in Las Vegas started very smoothly. After flying 5h35 the day before, we eventually had the opportunity to get a long night of sleep. We had two points on our agenda: a TV interview and having N512R cleaned by Clear Skies Aircraft Cleaning and Polishing. One of our supporters in Vegas picked us up at the hotel at 11am, and drove us to the airport for the interview with KTNV.
We spent the morning at the airport, preaching for General Aviation in front of the camera, and then talking about aviation while N512R was cleaned. After that we visited the Nellis Air Force base, which is one of the largest in the country.
Nellis is the home of the Thunderbirds and of the USAF Weapons School. We could climb on (but not in) an F-15E. Nellis also has a so called “Agressor Squadron”. The pilots from this squadron fly on Russian aircraft only and fly according to Russian tactics. They serve as “enemies” for training USAF pilots. Nellis is also the home of “Red FLAG” where fighter pilots from other air forces in the world come to train together with the USAF pilots.
Shortly after leaving the air base perimeter, things started to go… how to say that… in a different way. Just like a spin that develops and goes tighter and tighter. We were introduced to the 25 Club, where fighter pilots can get shots of Jeremiah Weed. This is a US Air Force tradition and each fighter squadron has a lounge where pilots sometimes drink this. This was a great honor for us to become part of this tradition.
After that, while driving back towards downtown Las Vegas, our host asked if we had problems with height. We both answered no and added as a joke that we would not jump off the Stratoshpere. This the highest tower in Las Vegas and they offer free-fall jumps. The answer to this remark came instantly, in the form of a “Yes, you will”. Saying no was not an option. We went to the Stratosphere tower and looked at some jumpers. We’ll put videos online asap, but trust us, these jumps are really impressive.
It was 7pm and our jumps got scheduled at 11pm. The countdown was started. These have been four very long hours. We spent them eating at In and Out Burger. We learned what “animal style” means there. If you never tried, you should - this is a good surprise.
We got to the Strip after that and had a look at the water fountain show from the Bellagio and the Pirate show from the Treasure Island. It was then time to go back to the Stratosphere and get the jump…
The platform from where we jumped is 855 above the strip. We received jump suits, jump shoes and harnesses. Everything was checked and crosschecked before we got up to the platform. Waiting up there with a wonderful night view of Las Vegas and of people jumping before us helped to raise the pressure and tension before jumping.
After leaving the platform jumpers try to get in a horizontal position - which is not easy - and then look down towards the landing target that comes closer and closer at a speed of 80 miles per hour… before the brake enters in action and slows down for a soft landing.
Thanks a LOT to our supporters in Las Vegas. This day was crazy and we’re not anywhere close to forget about it. You guys rock!