Thursday, October 10, 2013

Aerobatic pilot goes through high-flying workout: John Ostmeyer makes U.S. Aerobatic Flying Team (With Video)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. —With spins, rolls, dives and climbs, Overland Park's John Ostmeyer can put his body through a 90-minute workout in just four minutes, and he does it 10,000 feet above the ground.

Ostmeyer is one of just eight members of the U.S. Aerobatic Flying Team. He recently won his spot and will fly in the world championships next summer.

"You just fly, fly, fly, and practice, practice, practice," he said. "It's flying boiled down to its essence."

It may be practice, but it's no grind. It's a G-pulling, heart-pounding, thrill-a-second exercise called aerobatic flight.

"It's like you've done an hour-and-a-half of cardio," he said.

Ostmeyer began putting his name on aerobatic flying in the late 1990s, learning and practicing the artistry of man and machine.

"(You) look out the window and fly the airplane. It's just you and the airplane," he said. "There's no computer in the world that can do this."

Ostmeyer said he's still mastering the art, and he knows it will never be perfect, even though he's reached the highest of levels in the high-flying world.

As hard as he's trained and as much time as he's committed, every time he taxis back to his hangar, he finds it hard to believe where he's landed.

"To have 15 or 16 years of hard work finally pay off and be there, and actually realize one of your life dreams, it was just speechless," he said. "I can't thank the people who've helped me out enough."

When not flying his aerobatic airplane, he flies cargo jets to all corners of the globe.

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