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"Sorry, Goose, It's Time to Buzz the Tower"

The 31 members of Class 136, U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, which graduated last December, pitched in on a deluxe jet plane kiddie ride, wearing Test Pilot School livery and signed by each student. Says Damon Carson of Kiddie Rides USA, "The commanding officer and other st...

Commander Eric Mitchell takes a test hop, with graduate Bret Davenport as wingman. Photo: Liz Goettee/ Navy Photo Lab


The 31 members of Class 136, U.S. Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland, which graduated last December, pitched in on a deluxe jet plane kiddie ride, wearing Test Pilot School livery and signed by each student. Says Damon Carson of Kiddie Rides USA, "The commanding officer and other staff have touted the kiddie ride as the best graduation gift ever." Generous too, at just under $3,000. "While these rides generally operate with coins or tokens, the test pilots wanted a 'free play' button." Music? What else but the "Top Gun" anthem, "Danger Zone." The ride has been installed in the students' break area.

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