Media, military members taken for a ride in Fat Albert - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Media, military members taken for a ride in Fat Albert

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Military members climbing on board Fat Albert. Military members climbing on board Fat Albert.
The view from Fat Albert. The view from Fat Albert.

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - After an 8-year absence the Blue Angels are back in town for Thunder Over Louisville and that means Fat Albert is too.

Fat Albert is the nickname for the huge C-130 that houses everything the Blue Angels get do need and could possibly need from their base in Pensacola, Florida to the airshow site, including 40 members of their team. 

I learned it does so much more. I was invited to take a ride along with some other members of the media and military. We were warned a few times we might get sick and were told to take an airsick bag even if we thought we wouldn't need it.

Within seconds after take-off, ascending at a 45 degree incline compared to the 10 degree of a commercial airlines, we hit two G's or twice the force of gravity. Then we went weightless. The Blue Angels riding in the back didn't even strap themselves in and allowed themselves to go upside down.

Fortunately I was in the cockpit, next to Kentucky Derby Festival CEO Mike Berry. Unlike those in the back sharing a few small windows, we could see and hear what was coming next - a huge benefit.

Once in the air we were treated to a one of a kind view. The big, rear cargo door was opened and you could take in the view.

This peacefulness though was once again replaced with nine minutes of climbs and dives and steep rolls, forcing three people to reach for their bags.

WAVE 3 News Chief Photographer Doug Druschke and I didn't get sick, but we both felt a little quesy and were ready to touch down.

"We make light of it. It's funny. It helps us demonstrate how physically taxing the flying can be especially the way we do it in the military," said Capt. A.J. Harrell, the left pilot of Fat Albert.

Even members of the military weren't prepared for what Fat Albert could do and would do.

Jerrica Awbrey with the US Navy had to use her bag. Afterward she said, "I feel much better now. The ups and downs were fine. It's when riding solid, not doing anything, that made me sick."

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