Fighter jet stops in Albany - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fighter jet stops in Albany

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -  It's a sight you rarely see in Albany a F/A-18 fighter jet turning and twisting its way out of the southwest Georgia Regional airport as crowds of people look on.

The pilot is 29 year old Lt. Christopher  Williams an instructor pilot with the U.S Navy based out of Lamar California. He flew the 85 million dollar jet into Albany following a training session in south florida.

"i'm an instructor pilot with strike quadrant 125, we are complete with our training so we wanted to come back and do a little hometown PR and a little static display to let the taxpayers know what they are paying for and what their assets are and to associate a face with a name."

Chris has been flying F/A-18s for a little over seven years but this is the first time he's brought the jet to Albany.

"I really really just enjoy this area and just coming back the more I see the more I enjoy about this area so bringing something back is something I definitely want to do and that's what I saw with my uncles and my families and having a good mentor is what I think its all about," said Chris.

Chris's own father spent over 20 years as a pilot himself, and laid the foundation down for Chris to follow his lead.

"Well its very special for me to see not only him doing it but to see any young kid that wants to do things to help the country..a patriot to see that you can do anything you want to do chris and guys like me can serve as a role model and a mentor but its up to the individual to actually go out and do it," said Chris.

Chris says he wants to help lead other kids on the same path.

"It's a once in a lifetime shot right here so I think its pretty amazing!" said Chris's cousin Kennie Brown.

"Being able to tell someone that has probably never seen an airplane like this is probably the best thing you can bring to them is the idea is that showing them a familiar face so they will be like hey that guy looks just like me and its not that hard to get where i'm at," said Chris.

Chris says the he hardest part about becoming a pilot is not learning how to fly the plane but finding a pilot and asking them how they got there.

Chris's father says he hopes to bring military jets into Albany more often so school kids can see the benefits of being a military pilot.

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