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F-35 Test Pilot Wants Kids to Share His Love of Flying

CBC News // August 10, 2015

Billie Flynn loves flying — and he wants to inspire that love in kids at this year's Abbotsford International Airshow.

The former Royal Canadian Air Force pilot, who's now a test pilot exploring the limits of the still-developing F-35 Lightning II, will be in Abbotsford to show off some of the F-35's technology and tell young people that if they stick with science and math, they can design or even fly planes like he does.

"It's 3D chess at supersonic speeds," Flynn says of what goes into flying. "There's cool, amazing tech in airplanes in this day and age, and that's why [students] would want to work harder, to get that opportunity."

Flynn stopped by the CBC Vancouver studio for a conversation with The Early Edition's Rick Cluff before the Airshow.

What's it like to be a test pilot?

Back in the Chuck Yeager days it really was dangerous, and it's still a risky profession, but it's exciting. It's a world of discovery and exploration. Even for me who's been at it a couple of years, it's still exciting to get into a jet

But there's that risk when you push a plane to its limits. You want to see how far it can go before it starts to fail.

And you really have to go there. You can't believe the simulations in the computer are right. A human has to take it to its limits. There's always risk out there, you try and find where the edge of that cliff is and not go over that cliff.

Read the full story from CBCNews British Columbia.