David Pearl (LBCC Kinesiology Major) Joins His Dad, LBREPORT.com Publisher Bill Pearl (Battling Cancer) For Wild Yet Ethereal Experience On Zero G Weightless Flight
(Oct. 17, 2021, 9:20 p.m.) -- On Saturday Octl 16, tweny-four adventurous fliers boarded the nationally famous Zero G jet -- the very same aircraft used to train astronauts as it produces weightless parabolas -- at Long Beach airport for an unforgettable experience in zero gravity. They ranged from 21 year old LBCC Kinesiology major David Pearl to 75 year old Shelley Bonus, a UCLA Adjunct Professor of Astronomy who was given the seat as a gift by her students. "It was way beyond what I expected, exceeded everything I'd hoped for and was a dream come true for me," said Ms. Bonus, beaming with delight after the flight.
David was nearly speechless. "Amazing. Unbelievable. Other worldly. Totally beyond what I'd imagined," he said.
David's dad, LBREPORT.com publisher Bill Pearl is battling cancer and father and son wanted to share the weightless experience together while they still can. Bill managed to capture in-flight phone video showing David weightless at the ceiling doing "splits" (screen save below.)
The video, showing David in weightlessness can be viewed on LBREPORT.com's Facebook page embedded below.
The flight was simultaneously wild while ethereal. Bill tried to take some weightless "selfie" video that showed him colliding with other fliers as he spun uncontrollably...but with no sensation of spinning, merely floating. He also put them on Facebook with a lengthy text description in the embed below:
Zero G has a professional photographer aboard plus GoPro video cameras throughout the cabin; those images are forthcoming.
David Pearl, an award winning Millikan distance runner (class of 2018) is majoring in Kinesiology at LBCC and aspires to become a personal trainer. He's already working for a physical and performance enhancing firm and hasn't varied from his personal trainer goal but says he's open to considering whether to explore aspects of kinesiology dealing with prolonged weightlessness (where one can lose muscle tone quickly.)
Dad Bill created and founded LBREPORT.com now entering its 22nd year. In October 2020, Bill was aboard a Long Beach Zero G flight as a reporter (on a free basis like recent NY area flights with CBS News' Norah O'Donnell and the Today Show's Al Roker.) However on this second Oct. 2021 LGB flight (to maintain his journalistic independence) Bill paid for his own seat and -- helped by GoFundMe.com donors (contributions still welcome at this link) -- is working to cover a remaining portion of David's seat with contributions to follow to support UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Items tentatively scheduled to be auctioned off at this point include a genuine Zero G space suit (worn by Bill in Oct. 2020, should fit a man or woman about 145 pounds, 5'9"). Also included is a genuine (and unused by us) Zero G vomit bag (truly a "gag" gift.)
Bill also carried in a pocket of his space suit a meaningful gift: a polished "shofar" or Ram's horn, which (when sounded after some training) produces a sound heard for over 5,000 years as part of Jewish High Holy Days observances. (The High Holy Days mark the period when G-d decides who will live and die in the coming year and observants hope to avert the most severe decree with repentance, charity and prayer.) To our knowledge, it is the first time such object has ever been taken beyond Earthly gravity into weightlessness with plans to auction it off for a cancer fighting charitable purpose.
Zero G, a privately operated firm based in Virginia, sends its specially modified Boeing 727 jet across the country offering the weightless experience at (current price subject to change) $7,500 per consumer flier. That's pricey but a lot less than the speculated price of Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin or Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Gallactic which use rockets to propel a small capsule upward offering a unique view of planet Earth but with less room in the cabin to spin, flip and turn in weightlessness. The Zero G jet is more spacious, meets FAA consumer flight standards and by our experience, offers roughly 15-25 seconds of zero gravity in each of 12 parabolas preceded by about 2-3 seconds of microgravity entering and exiting each zero gravity period.
By our rough and unofficial estimate, the Zero G jet flights produce total weightless time for fliers that approaches and may exceed weightless time offered by Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic.)
LBREPORT.com publisher Bill Pearl wrote on Facebook:
...I spun wildly in the zero gravity parabolas...[T]he [zero gravity] parabolas are broken up by periods of positive 1.8 G's (when you're lying flat and instructed to look at ceiling while the plane climbs upward)...When the pilot goes over the top of a parabola, one initially feels a "fast elevator" sensation for just 1-3 seconds (not unpleasant) then into no sensation in zero gravity except floating...I spun wildly, a "spaz in space" (which surprised me because on first flight last year I was maneuvering pretty well in zero gravity by the later parabolas ). No, I didn't feel upside down or dizzy, just saw everything spin (as I spun) for about 15-22 secs in zero gravity. Then 30 secs of +2gs again. It's that positive followed by the negative G sensation that affects one's vestibular (inner ear) and can make some fliers queasy. Zero G gives everyone a chewable Dramamine before the flight and during the flight Zero G staff circulates among fliers and asks for "thumbs up" sign if we felt OK (which I did.) Sadly, I saw three fliers ushered off to the back of the plane with barf bags while the rest of us enjoyed the ethereal experience...I'm so grateful that with help from GoFundMe contributors we could make this happen while I'm still able. Next come donations to help UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Care Center.
Of his cancer, Mr. Pearl writes in pertinent part on his GoFundMe page:
I learned too late that esophageal cancer often starts with heartburn, is the fastest increasing cancer diagnosis among American men, fewer than one in five patients survive five years, one American dies from it every 36 minutes and it is among cancers receiving the least amount of federal research funding. This is (literally) a once in a lifetime chance for my son and me and would support anti-cancer research affecting countless others. Please help me leave my son with an unforgettable memory and fund the Jonsson Cancer Center's work to end this scourge in his lifetime, if not mine.
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