The decision was made to stay high and leapfrog the storm. It was a beautiful sight from my perch at 39,000 feet. The sun was setting, casting a warm golden glow through the portside windows of the aircraft. Ahead of and below us was this rolling and tumbling ominous mass of clouds. The mass appeared alive as the constant flash of lightning inside the beast turned the black mass an eerie green. No worries: We were a good 5,000 to 7,000 feet above. As I stared, mesmerized, into the storm, I suddenly noticed the aft cabin turning that wicked green color I could see in the storm. As we cruised along fat, dumb and happy at 550-plus mph, Mother Nature wanted to prove this was a race she could win. As we cruised across the top, the storm back-rolled over us, engulfing the aircraft in the storm. As I did all I could do to remain in my jumpseat, I noticed the pilot cranking his seat down to its lowest position, well below the glareshield. The aircraft was tossed around quite violently, and it appeared that something like a fire hose was being sprayed at the windscreen. The pilot asked that I close the cabin door, because he did not want the owner to see what was going on in the cockpit. As I watched the pilot reach down and turn the igniters on, I was feeling good. With my vast knowledge of aircraft and aviation (four hours dual), an airplane that was built on the F-86 wing, a pilot who had survived three tours of C-130 duty in Vietnam and a flight instructor who was no less than godlike in my eyes, what could go wrong?