Teachers see Marine fighter jets close-up - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Teachers see Marine fighter jets close-up

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MCAS MIRAMAR -- In the Marine Corps, shock and awe comes in all varieties. Teachers from across our region got to see Marine Corps Air power up close.

It didn't take long to impress Jon McKinney of Kennett.

"The airfield here is just pretty awesome. Just seems like the more we're learning, the more we see, the more knowledge we get, just how impressive the Marines really are," said McKinney said.

The star of this show is an F-18 fighter jet flown by Major Jeff Butler.

"These jets just came back from Iraq, where they employed over 474,000 pounds of ordinance," explained Butler.

That's on a deployment where they spent 4,700 hours in the air, with each flight lasting nine hours.

And the jets travel fast! "Mostly we're operating like 500 knots, about 600 miles an hour," says Butler.

From planes, to helicopters, to planes that act like helicopters, the Marines have an aircraft for just about every occasion, and you'll find them all around the world.

The Osprey can take off vertically and then fly horizontally. A close-up look at the aircraft shows all its high-tech gadgets. Folks even got to pretend to sit for a flight and parachute out the back. 

The F-18 caught everyone's attention. The group snapped plenty of pictures with the plane and the "top gun" who flies it.

The demonstration of military might, really got its point across.

"There was 4, I think F-18's, F-16's took off a while ago, just one right after the other and it was very impressive seeing that, and I would hate to be on the receiving end of that if they were headed my way," said McKinney.

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