FLIGHT OF THE ANGELS
Only 5 minutes into the flight, I began thinking to myself, "Why do I do this stuff?"
Apparently they felt like they got a lot of bang for their buck, so to speak. The reason the Blue Angels offer media "fly alongs" when they're in town is to help promote the air show, the unit, the NAVY, the Armed Forces in general and Uncle Sam. They give some guy like me a ride, we put it on T.V. and that generates interest in the afore mentioned.
I'm not sure the Blue Angels have ever gotten more publicity out of a single flight. I can't tell you how many times we aired that video of me passing out in 2005.
Back in town for the Milwaukee Air and Water show recently, they offered me a chance to fly again, and I jumped at it. This time it would not be in the fighter jet, but on Fat Albert. "Albie" is a tricked out C-130 that does some impressive stunts to start the Blue Angels show every time.
I just figured, "Look... I've flown for an hour in an F/A 18 Hornet. How bad can this be?"
Maybe I forgot.
I had flown on a training mission with the 440th Airlift Wing of the US Air Force Reserve years ago. You'll recall they used to be based out of Mitchell International. They too fly the C-130 and heretofore, that was the sickest I ever was on an aircraft... until this time around.
No, I didn't pass out this time. As you can see from the video, however, it wasn't exactly a pleasure cruise either. While this mission was lighter on the G-forces and stresses on the body, it was tougher on the stomach. I was queasy from almost the moment we took flight... and began wondering whether my dare-devil, "sure... I'll do that" days may be coming to an instant halt.
Once again, I proudly declare at least I didn't puke.
The best parts of the flight were (despite the discomfort) experiencing weightlessness, whizzing by Milwaukee landmarks at hundreds of miles an hour, and staring out the open back end of the aircraft... watching the lake and skyline of our awesome city shine on a beautiful afternoon. I enjoyed knowing that tens of thousands of people over the weekend were going to experience this amazing performance.
I thank the Navy, the Blue Angels, and the promoters of the Milwaukee Air and Water show for giving me a second "Once in Lifetime" experience. Maybe we'll leave it there. Of course, if they asked again...
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