SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Mayor Jerry Sanders said taking a ride in an F/A-18 fighter jet Friday was the best experience of his life.

The mayor and a number of media personalities were taken aloft for demonstration flights aboard military aircraft at MCAS Miramar, in the run-up to Saturday's Parade of Flight over San Diego Bay.

"It was a hundred times better than my expectations," said Sanders, who could be seen smiling as the jet taxied to the tarmac after landing.

"This has been the best experience of my life," he told News 8.

Sanders showed no trace of nerves as he prepared for the flight, which took him over the desert for maneuvers at around 500 mph.

He joked around before he left by telling reporters that his wife instructed him not to touch anything.

Displays of aircraft from the first biplanes to current jets are at the base in preparation for Saturday's massive flyover of San Diego Bay to commemorate the centennial of naval aviation.

The celebration will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. at NAS North Island - where there will be static displays of current and historical aircraft - and the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis will be open for tours.

The Parade of Flight is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday.

Transit officials say to leave early and take public transportation if possible.