A precarious new contraption lets us get our fighter-pilot ya-yas out
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Dispatches, February 1998
‘Normally, if you were flying 80 miles per hour at six feet off the ground, you wouldn’t be long for this world,” figures thrill-broker John ten Have. “What you see on this flight is what most jet pilots see right before they die.” A morbid sales pitch, to be sure, but one that doesn’t seem to deter 40-plus people a day from subjecting themselves
Located above the sleepy sheepherding town of Paekakariki, on New Zealand’s North Island, Fly By Wire is — from the safety of ten Have’s office — a rather low-key affair. After forking over a $75 fee and donning a flashy red flight suit, adrenaline junkies enter a cockpit-like capsule attached by wire to a network of cables stretched across a 200-foot-deep valley.