skip to nav skip to content
If you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, take solace that it still is less than what Mark Kirsch is handling.
As Kirsch yanks at a rope, pulling himself forward, he is followed like a shadow by a 152,000-pound airplane.
Just another day at the office for Kirsch. On Thursday, he gave a sneak peak at his skills as he pulled a KC-135 Stratotanker at McConnell Air Force Base.
"I got it going and it got harder at first," Kirsch said after he finished backpacking the plane 120 feet, his breath only slightly exhausted.
Kirsch will perform the stunt at the Wings Over McConnell Open House and Air Show this Saturday and Sunday.
Now a burly 6-foot-4-inch, 320-pounder, Kirsch said he was not always built like an offensive lineman.
"I was skinny in high school," he said. "I just wanted to get stronger."
As he continued to test himself, he reached for seemingly impossible feats.
"Nobody had ever done any of the things I've ever done," Kirsch said. "I'm getting stronger, I'm working out, I'm really powerful - I'm like 'Yes, I want to pull an airplane.' The problem was it was a Boeing 767 that was available. It was probably too big, but I pulled that."
A typical workout day may include two trips to the gym, 1,500-pound one-leg leg presses and 600-pound leg lunges.
Airplanes hardly seem like a test anymore. In all, Kirsch pulled 10 million pounds of weight this past year.
Kirsch performs the tasks as part of "Pulls for the Troops." He said it is a way for him to show his appreciation for service men and women.
"You're supporting our troops and saying thanks for what they do. All our military personnel, they're hard working people," Kirsch said.