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 sky with them.
WAVE 3 News Reporter Eric Flack was one of the chosen few along with Jason Dieking and David Mike. The two strapped into the F/A-18 Hornet and were along for the ride for some of the same high speed tricks and maneuvers you'll see the Blue Angels perform on Saturday, April 12 during Thunder Over Louisville.
"I think this is just off the charts exciting. And I realize what a unique opportunity this is," Dieking, a University of Louisville strength and conditioning coach, said.
Dierking was given the shot to ride shot gun with the Blue Angels because of what he's done off campus.
Starting the Frazier Rehab Ironman Housing Fund, Dierking helped raise more than $90,000 to help patients in the outpatient spinal cord rehab program pay for housing and transportation.
As Dierking sped through the air hitting 650 miles per hour in just 30 seconds Mike tried to keep his wife Sharon from screaming back on the ground.
"I said ‘they have to teach us maybe if we have to eject.' And then she really flipped her can then," Mike, the principal of Male High School said.
Mike was nominated to fly with the world famous Navy demo team to share the experience with his students.
Like many, he passed from the force of the 7 Gs the aircraft pulls at times during flight.
After he was safely back on the ground he walked away with a renewed appreciation for the talent, training and sacrifice it takes to be a Blue Angel.
"I just told Lt. Ryan that. I have the utmost respect for the pilots and everybody in this country should," he said.
Even if you pass out, it really is an incredibly fun and exhilarating ride.
Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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