HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — A new plane will be making its debut at the Warriors over the Wasatch Open House and Air Show at Hill Air Force Base this weekend.
“This is the L-39 Albatros,” said Retired Navy Pilot and Breitling Jet Team Director, Jim DiMatteo. “People will also see the Thunderbirds out there this weekend, but we actually take you up with an entire team.”
DiMatteo said that Media fly-alongs, done with the Blue Angels or the United States Airforce Thunderbirds, are usually solo flights. However, with his Breitling team, media got the opportunity Thursday to go airborne with a team of seven; all of them flying within about 10 feet of one another.
DiMatteo is one of the best pilots in the country, having flown more hours in Top Gun than any other pilot in the country. The retired Navy fighter pilot says he’s even helping writers work on “Top Gun 2.”
“I’m fortunate to be able to work with the writers to make sure this is something the public will enjoy and naval aviation will be proud of,” he said.
But Thursday, DiMatteo was only focused on his duties with the Breitling Jet Team. At times during the flight, the L-39 Albatros reached speeds nearing 500 miles per hour, pulling 4 G-forces in the process.
Residents will have the opportunity to see the planes in person this Saturday and Sunday, as the doors will open to the public around 8 a.m. and will close at 4:30 p.m. when the Thunderbirds show is complete. Admission is free to the public.
Check out the video above for footage from Jeff’s flight with DiMatteo, and click here to learn more about the Utah Air Show.