(WMC-TV) - It's one of the most talked about events in the Mid-South: the Memphis Air Show. And Action News 5's Lauren Squires got a sneak peek of the planes, stunts, and she even got to take the controls herself.
"It's quite an office space to be able to fly air shows between the surface and 3,000 feet," said Sgt. Col. John Klatt, who flies in an Air National Guard Extra 300L 2007 model plane. "This airplane is specifically designed for going upside down which makes it very, very safe."
What also makes it safe are Klatt's 20-plus years of experience flying with the Air National Guard in F-16 and C-130 aircrafts.
But these days, you will find Sgt. Col. Klatt traveling around the country, performing in air shows and promoting the National Guard.
It is a dream of his that started years ago.
"Looking up at the skies and seeing some air show performers really inspired me to get involved in aviation 30 years ago," he explained.
As for Lauren Squires, she is always up for a thrill, which is how she ended up on board the plane with Sgt. Col. Klatt.
"Alright now we're gonna do a hammer head turn around so we're gonna go straight up," said Klatt as he performed a trick that he followed up with another one, called a "torque roll."
Once Klatt was done showing Lauren what the plane is capable of, he actually turned the controls over to her.
"Go ahead and pull back, OK, I'll tell you when to stop," he said. "Stop, and roll to the left. Keep going all the way around. Alright, you did it."
Lauren learned firsthand why Klatt loves to fly -- upside down, with the horizon over his shoulders.
"It's a spectacular feeling. To be able to tumble, do turns and twists, do all those things you practiced for years," said Klatt.
You can watch Sgt. Col. John Klatt live out his dream in the sky at the Millington Airport this weekend.
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