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A Spanish fighter pilot's determination

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For Spanish Air Force Captain Antonio Cifuentes, the power of flight wasn’t something given – it was something earned.

Synopsis

For Spanish Air Force Captain Antonio Cifuentes, the power of flight wasn’t something given – it was something earned, sometimes with trepidation. In his years of service since, he’s never regretted learning to fly the F/A-18 Hornet, which he calls una bestia – his “beast” of an aircraft. Deployed to Lithuania as part of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission in May 2020, Cifuentes talks about the challenge and pleasure of flying.

To safeguard against COVID-19, videographers were tested prior to filming, wore masks and practice social distancing wherever possible. Footage includes an interview with Captain Cifuentes and shots of Spanish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet fighters, including those piloted by Captain Cifuentes, flying from Šiauliai Air Base in Lithuania.

Transcript

–SOUNDBITE— (English)
Captain Antonio Cifuentes, Spanish Air Force

“The first time I was flying, felt like hell. I just thought I knew what I was supposed to be doing in that moment, everything was pretty clear in my head, but as I say, when you close the canopy, your mind is shut off. That’s the moment I realised that no one was going to give me anything for granted and that I had to continue pushing, and that’s what I did.”

--TEXT ON SCREEN--
CAPTAIN ANTONIO CIFUENTES IS A SPANISH FIGHTER PILOT

WHO FLEW FOR NATO’S BALTIC AIR POLICING MISSION

–SOUNDBITE— (English)
Captain Antonio Cifuentes, Spanish Air Force

"The most important difference between flying as a civilian and flying in the military, you can feel every day how your work is really useful for the Spanish, NATO and world society.

The Hornet is…in Spanish, I would say ‘es una bestia’. It’s just a beast.

You can ask anything to the jet and you know it’s always going to respond.

I think the best moments I’ve had flying is just coming back to base, right near my wingman, and maybe just chatting a little bit on the radio and saying “hey man, that was a great flight”. And you’re just looking around, seeing how lucky you are.”
Music
“Pluto” by Jan-Niklas Siebelds
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Reference
NATO847482
ID
1721