Sam Eckhol is one lucky guy. The AC-130 team at Cannon AFB allowed him to fly onboard the Ghostrider and fire its two guns.
The gunship usually flies with eight to nine crew members: two pilots, two Combat Systems Officers, and three to four aerial gunners.
One of the most critical components of the Ghostrider is its MOP or Mission Operator Pallet. This dual-console computer system controls all the weapons systems, such as the sensors, cameras, and triggers.
For guns, the AC-130J comes equipped with a 105mm Howitzer (GAU-XX) on the rear. A 30mm GAU-23 chainlink gun can also be found on the side. You can feel the recoil when the guns go off, too.
When the 105 is fired, the airplane moves six feet in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, firing the 30mm felt like someone kicking your seat from the back!
If given a chance, would you do it too?