Miss America Emma Broyles takes a ride of a lifetime with the Thunderbirds

Broyles said she got word about a week ago that she was the V.I.P selected to take a ride with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s premier demonstration team.
Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 7:07 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage resident and currently Miss America Emma Broyles sat in an F-16 Thunderbird on Friday and got to participate in the Air Force’s practice for their Arctic Thunder Open House this weekend, returning after a four-year absence.

Broyles said she got word about a week ago that she was the V.I.P selected to take a ride with the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s premier demonstration team. The Thunderbirds are performing at the Artic Thunder Open House on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson this weekend and on Friday, rehearsal day, Broyles got her chance.

“I am certainly a little bit nervous but I think that’s always a good thing right,” Broyles said.

Broyles was fearful of feeling nauseous on the ride but she’d also had some pre-flight instruction that could help.

“We went through these trainings to learn how to squeeze every muscle in my legs all the way up until I can push the blood to my head,” Broyles said. “And I was like, yeah, whatever, that will be easy, that’ll be easy. And then once you actually get in the jet it’s absolutely insane, just the feeling of those g’s on your body”

Broyles said she remembered to turn up her oxygen mask all the way to help calm her breathing and fight off nausea. She said upon landing that the experience was nothing short of amazing.

“I would totally do it again,” she said. “I think if anyone ever gets the chance to fly with the Thunderbirds or to fly in an F-16 or have a cool opportunity like this, I say take it”

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