Adrenaline junkies have spoken: A high-definition video of U.S. Navy fighter pilots zipping over the ocean and kicking into afterburner is a viral winner.
The VFA-27 Royal Maces, based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi in Japan, recorded the in-cockpit F/A18-E footage over a number of locations in the Pacific theater, including some dramatic footage of the jets banking and turning over the Japanese Alps.
The video, appropriately titled “Shoot ‘Em if You Got ‘Em,” has more than 175,000 hits since it was uploaded over the weekend.
“It’s fun to look back and see all the things you’ve done in the last year and remember the good side of all of it, especially as we’ve traveled around spreading goodwill in the Asia Pacific region,” Lt. David Tarr, the squadron assistant operations officer, told TheBlaze.
Tarr put the high-energy compilation together. He blended footage from recent patrols while the squadron was deployed with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, trips along the Australian coast and various parts of Japan, with help from other pilots who purchased and mounted the cameras.
Tarr said all the footage was captured during routine training and flying “within the bounds of the regulations applicable for the areas and types of operations being conducted.”
In other words, this cool stuff is all in a day’s work for fighter pilots.
“It’s a low-level route we fly all the time — it just happened to be a pretty day,” said Lt. Kyle Matson, who captured some of the footage in the cockpit.
The Royal Maces are enjoying the viral attention, especially since it gives their loved ones a chance to see what they are up to.
“The videos are a very effective means for us to communicate back with our families and sailors about the end product of all their hard work,” Cmdr. Spencer Abbot, VFA-27 squadron commanding officer, said according to Stars and Stripes.
The five-minute video is a teaser for a 27-minute show the squadron will unveil at NAF Atsugi’s Spring Festival on May 3, which is open to the public. Tarr said he expects the “Japanese fans” will really appreciate the footage.
“We are in fact guests in their country … we actually have a little fan club and they enjoy seeing this stuff too, so we actually (made a copy) as a gift for them,” Tarr said.
The full video will include more low-level flying, carrier operations and footage from the squadron’s work in the Philippines while aiding the recovery efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Check out the video below! Things get really good after the 1:10 mark.
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