Regular people given chance to fly with the Blue Angels - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Regular people given chance to fly with the Blue Angels

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It may be the most exciting, the most awe inspiring, and the most challenging thrill ride there is. A flight with the Blue Angels is a once in a lifetime experience. And at every stop on their tour, the Navy hot shots take a couple lucky people from the community into the skies with them, rewarded with the opportunity for the work they're doing to serve our city.

The smile on Jason Dierking's face said it all.

"I think this is just off the charts exciting," Dierking said as he waited on the tarmac to hop aboard with the Blue Angels. "And I realize what a unique opportunity this is."

He was on the verge of a moment he would never forget.

A UofL strength and conditioning coach, Dierking was given the shot to ride shot gun with the Blue Angels because of what he's done off campus.  He started the Frazier Rehab Ironman Housing Fund, which raised more than $9,000 to help patients in the outpatient spinal cord rehab program pay for housing and transportation.

"The financial burden it comes with and the lifestyle change is really a major challenge," Dierking said of his motivation to start the fund.

As Dierking got his chance to speed through the air at top speeds of more than 650 mile per hour, David Mike tried to keep his wife Shannon from screaming back on the ground.

"And I said they have to teach us maybe if we have to eject," Mike said. "And then she really flipped her can then."

The Male Traditional High School principal was the other community VIP nominated to fly with the world famous Navy demo team, and share the unbelievable experience with his students.

Like many, he passed from the force of the 7 G's the aircraft pulls at times during flight. Once safely back on the ground, Mike walked away with a renewed appreciation for the talent, training and sacrifice it takes to be a Blue Angel.

"After this I have the utmost respect for the pilots," Mike said. "And everybody in this country should."

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