5 Adventures That'll Make Your Stomach Drop


Stunt Flying

For some people, a ride on a commercial jet is excitement enough. But if you're looking for a few more dips and dives to jiggle your stomach's juices, take a ride in an actual stunt plane.

Several U.S. companies will take you up for an aerobatic thrill ride, tailoring the experience to your tolerance for organ-shifting maneuvers. On the East Coast, there's Aerobatic Experience, based in St. Augustine, Fla. In its Extra 300L aircraft, pilots will put you through rolls, loops, inverted flight and hammerhead turns in which the aircraft is put into a vertical climb, then abruptly turned nose-down into a dive. No wonder the ride is advertised as an "airborne roller coaster."

West-coasters can check out Sky Thrills!, based in Fullerton, Calif. In addition to the Extra 300L, this company boasts three other stunt airplanes, including the Italian-made Marchetti SF-260, as well as the Pitts S-2C and Waco YMF-5C biplanes. Pilots will take you up in one of these planes for an exhilarating stunt ride, and as an added bonus, they'll actually let you take the controls -- no experience required. Reserve a spot in the "World Aerobatic Champion" ride, and you can fly the plane at speeds of 250 miles per hour (402 kilometers per hour) and perform stunts that subject you to six times the force of gravity [source: Sky Thrills!].