You can stream the entire Pacific Airshow only on Hulu!
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A recent military report found that since 2003, only 2% of Air Force pilots have been African American, a disparity the service is trying to change.
Now, one man who may help inspire that change was among the featured pilots at last weekend's Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach.
Josiah Gaffney, a major in the Air Force, and the Commander in Pilot for the PACAF F-16 Demonstration Team, said his first airshow experience was when he was just 10 years old.
"It was the first time I've seen a fighter aircraft do aerobatics, like the magic of a very powerful machine being able to go on the air and watch somebody fly that, it blew me away," he said.
Gaffney gave Eyewitness News a glimpse of what it's like to fly the skies.
"I want you to imagine you are sitting in a very small seat, every time you turn, you got an elephant sitting on your lap," he said. "When the jet turns upwards of 600 mph, it puts a lot of force on your body ... that acceleration when you change direction quickly. So, it feels like you weigh up to nine times your normal weight."
Gaffney said it takes a lot of planning and work to create such a spectacle. He said for every hour pilots are flying equates to about nine to 10 hours of groundwork - minimum.
"It's really cool to have the opportunity to represent what's possible when you go after your goals and achieve them," said Gaffney. "I think what really inspires me is having the opportunity to serve and getting to serve alongside the caliber of people that I do, I think is a great way to inspire the next generation to reach for the stars, be the best that they can be."
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