Larry Fitzgerald rides with the Thunderbirds

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, talks to Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, before taking a flight in a Thunderbird jet March 14. Fisher served as an F-16 instructor pilot and flight commander for the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, talks to Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, before taking a flight in a Thunderbird jet March 14. Fisher served as an F-16 instructor pilot and flight commander for the 310th Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, is greeted by members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds March 13 as he makes his way to the jet he will be flown in at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at approximately 3 p.m. on March 15 and 16 at Luke's Open House and Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, is greeted by members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds March 13 as he makes his way to the jet he will be flown in at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at approximately 3 p.m. on March 15 and 16 at Luke's Open House and Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, recieves final preflight instructions March 14 from Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, at Luke Air Force Base. Fisher piloted the jet that Fitzgerald flew in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, recieves final preflight instructions March 14 from Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, at Luke Air Force Base. Fisher piloted the jet that Fitzgerald flew in. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, prepares March 14 to take Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, on a flight in one of the Thunderbirds' F-16 jets. The Thunderbirds are one of many aerial performers scheduled to perform March 15 and 16 during Luke's Open House and Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

Maj. Michael Fisher, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator, prepares March 14 to take Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, on a flight in one of the Thunderbirds' F-16 jets. The Thunderbirds are one of many aerial performers scheduled to perform March 15 and 16 during Luke's Open House and Air Show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Grace Lee)

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds crew members fit Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, for a flight suit March 14. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at approximately 3 p.m. on March 15 and 16 at Luke Air Force Base. (U,S, Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds crew members fit Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, for a flight suit March 14. The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform at approximately 3 p.m. on March 15 and 16 at Luke Air Force Base. (U,S, Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald climbs into U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet no. 8 on March 14 at Luke Air Force Base prior to his flight in the jet. During the flight, Fitzgerald had the opportunity to experience every maneuver that will be performed during Luke's Open House and Air Show March 15 and 16 at Luke AFB, (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald climbs into U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet no. 8 on March 14 at Luke Air Force Base prior to his flight in the jet. During the flight, Fitzgerald had the opportunity to experience every maneuver that will be performed during Luke's Open House and Air Show March 15 and 16 at Luke AFB, (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, speaks to members of the media March 14 while waiting for his preflight briefing at Luke Air Force Base. Fitzgerald flew in U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet no. 8 in which he experienced all the aerial maneuvers that the Thunderbirds will be performing during Luke's Open House and Air Show on March 15 and 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide reciever, speaks to members of the media March 14 while waiting for his preflight briefing at Luke Air Force Base. Fitzgerald flew in U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds jet no. 8 in which he experienced all the aerial maneuvers that the Thunderbirds will be performing during Luke's Open House and Air Show on March 15 and 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald, rear, prepares for flight March 14 with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator Maj. Michael Fisher at the controls.Fisher has logged more than 2,000 flight hours as an Air Force pilot, with more than 430 combat hours in the F-16. Fisher is in his third season with the team and hails from Vancouver, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

Arizona Cardinals wide reciever Larry Fitzgerald, rear, prepares for flight March 14 with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds advance pilot/narrator Maj. Michael Fisher at the controls.Fisher has logged more than 2,000 flight hours as an Air Force pilot, with more than 430 combat hours in the F-16. Fisher is in his third season with the team and hails from Vancouver, Wash. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota)

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. -- Larry Fitzgerald, wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, visited Luke Air Force Base Thursday to ride in an Air Force Thunderbirds jet.

The flight was part of the Thunderbirds' program to educate the community about the Air Force, its mission and what the Airmen at Luke Air Force Base do every day to keep the mission to "train the world's greatest F-16 fighter pilots while deploying mission-ready warfighters" going.

Prior to getting briefed on his flight, Fitzgerald talked about his prior experiences flying in an Air Force jet.

"I actually got a chance to fly in a fighter jet a couple years ago. I was nervous that time but I'm not nervous today," Fitzgerald said. "Flying in a jet is definitely an experience, because you're flying at high speeds and altitudes and doing these maneuvers. It's definitely an experience you can't duplicate or simulate. I'm very fortunate to be here and thankful they are allowing me to participate."

Fitzgerald then went through a series of briefs prior to climbing in the cockpit - a medical brief, equipment brief and flight brief discussing topics including what he would need to expect on the flight, as well as how to position his body during the flight when Maj. Michael Fisher, the Thunderbird advance pilot and narrator, gave the signal.

Once he was informed and ready for flight, it was off to the flightline, where several F-16s painted in red, white and blue were lined up.

When given the signal that the jet was ready for takeoff, Fisher didn't waste any time giving Fitzgerald the ride of his life. Right away Fisher took the jet on a vertical climb, climbed straight up and turned the plane upside down before meeting the horizon.

After climbing out of the cockpit after a one-hour flight, Fisher expressed how impressed he was with Fitzgerald, who held his own during the flight.

"Larry is a great passenger," Fisher said. "He's in good physical shape and he did very, very well on his flight. He handled that four to five g-force and five to seven g-force turn just fine and we moved right into our aerobatic maneuvers."

For Fitzgerald, being able to go on the F-16 was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

"Going up today was truly and honor and something I'll cherish for the rest of my life," Fitzgerald said. "I'm really tired and you can feel my suit, I sweated through all my clothes. It was a serious workout. I'm still trying to catch my breath."

During the flight Fitzgerald got to experience every maneuver that will be showcased at the airshow, including the barrel roll, knife edge and the inverted to inverted pass, Fisher said.

For those who'd like to see the Thunderbirds, they will be performing at Luke's open house and air show this Saturday and Sunday. The gates will be open to the public at 9 a.m. and the airshow is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.