Bucs receiver Vincent Jackson takes a flight with the Thunderbirds, highway to the danger zone

Anwar S. Richardson
Shutdown Corner

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Vincent Jackson was on a wild ride with former coach Greg Schiano for the past two seasons.

It explains why riding in an F-16 jet was a piece of cake for him.

Jackson was invited to ride along with the U.S. Thunderbirds during Tampa Bay AirFest 2014 at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. He was strapped into one of the Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting Falcon jets and taken on a high-speed ride over Tampa Bay.

"I grew up in the military,” Jackson told reporters before his flight. “I’ve been on military bases like MacDill since I was a child, so I'm very familiar with these surroundings This opportunity is pretty exciting for me. I’ve watched these kind of events, air shows, since I was a kid. I’ve been in helicopters and tanks, but I’ve never been in a jet. This is a first, and I’m very excited."

Apparently, the crew did not take it easy on Jackson.

"We took him up on one of our standard profiles to give him exposure to everything that people will see during the air show – every maneuver from loops to rolls to all the solo maneuvers, we were able to do that in the airspace and give him a taste of what it’s like inside the cockpit,” said the pilot who took Jackson for his ride, Major Tyler Ellison (via the team’s website). “As Vincent experienced, when you start pulling six, seven, eight, nine gees, it really is a significant challenge. But he did really well and was able to tough it out and make it through."

Vincent enjoyed an once-in-a-lifetime experience, which must have been better than the ride Schiano had him on. 

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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