They are the Navy's biggest show piece. And only the best of the best fly the Blue Angels.
On this day, I had the honor of flying with them. As the flight crew got me ready in the No. 7 F/A 18 Hornet.
Lieutenant Dave Tickle, the man I'll be flying with, shared his thoughts on what it means to fly with the blues. "Just to be able to know you're the face of the Navy and Marine Corps is a great thing. It's an amazing experience."
With clearance from the flight crew, Lt. Tickle and I rolled number even into action.
This is what a steep climb looks like. But this is what it "feels" like at take off. "Alright Matt, here we go. How was that?"
"That was incredible!"
Then, we pulled off a move signature to the blues in this diamond formation. "Coming left, complete it all the way through." For that we pulled two g's, or twice the normal force of gravity.
Up next, we followed this plan, and turned gravity on its head. "All set?"
And of course, we needed to add a little speed. "So here we go. Lower the nose. 200 knots in four seconds." We topped out at 594 knots in 34 seconds, or just over 683 miles per hour.
But with speed, comes increased g-forces. Lt. Tickle banked the No. 7, and we pulled more than four and half g's.
"How'd that feel?"
"Not bad but I don't know how much more of that I can take."
Still, when you're in a jet like this, you just need, to roll with it. Even if your stomach wishes it was back on the ground. Because before you knew it, we were. And Dave Tickle and I took a second to sum up my flight.
"Well, I accomplished one thing lieutenant."
"I didn't throw up."
"And you didn't pass out."
"Well, thank goodness for small victories."
And for the Blue Angels, it's all in a days work.
You can see the Blue Angels perform this weekend at NAS Lemoore. The base air show is this Saturday and Sunday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.