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D Magazine Intern Lives Out Top Gun Dreams

This Saturday and Sunday, daring aviators from all over the world will perform death-defying maneuvers at the Texas Motor Speedway, the sixth of eight stops in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Instead of watching race cars whiz around an oval track for hours (kind of boring), the crowd on hand will look skyward as planes weave in and out of large pylons only 50-80 feet above the ground at 200-plus miles per hour.

Back in June, Texas native and world-class pilot Kirby Chambliss took me up to give me a taste of the sort of G-forces he and his competitors on the racing circuit must endure. First, an upright flat spin, where the airplane stalls and then descends down. From inside the steel contraption, I couldn’t tell where we were headed next. Up, down, jab right, then left. Why did I sign up for this? I thought to myself. Next we cartwheeled end over end three times, rolling the plane one-and-a-half times per second and then falling backwards at 90 mph. The cockpit filled with smoke from the tail.

My stomach is still in recovery, but it was worth it for the few minutes of getting to feel like Maverick from Top Gun. Check out the video evidence, and if you’re interested in going this weekend, ticket information is right this way.

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Tango Frogs Return to Lower Greenville

Have you heard of the Dallas family of frogs that survived a city ordinance threatening their home, and then narrowly escaped a deadly fire and hurricane-strong winds knocking them down to an almost certain death? And in the midst of it all, they were split apart, an emotional heartbreak leaving three in Nashville and three in Hillsboro?

Well, even if you haven’t, thanks to a few kind-hearted Texans, the Dallas half of these amphibious creatures will have happier days ahead of them. And if you drive by Taco Cabana on Lower Greenville today, you can see them, returned to their original home, nearly 30 years later.

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Daredevil Divers Compete at Possum Kingdom’s Hell’s Gate

Remember going to the pool as a kid, that day you decided to muster your strength, boost your confidence, and tiptoe to the edge of the diving board? I can still feel the fear, leaping into the deep end. Now imagine that diving board 90 feet up, atop a steep rock cliff. Even just in your imagination you’re probably beating a retreat, yeah?

Well, this past weekend at Possum Kingdom Lake, 19 world-class divers competed at highway-fast speeds on the second stop (of seven) in the 2014 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. They tested their fate at the lake’s ominously named Hell’s Gate, plunging into the cavernous depths below.

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