HOUSTON (FOX 26) - We are 6,000 feet over Galveston. We are about to perform a 7g turn. Am I going to get sick -- pass out? What the heck am I doing here? WAIT! Let’s start back on the ground.
I was lucky enough to get offered a media ride with the legendary U.S. Navy Blue Angels. I meet my pilot.
“Tyler Davies, Lt. number 7 for the team,” he says politely and confidently.
Sure he's really young, but very experienced. The Navy Blue Angels is a time-honored tradition that formed in 1946 after World War II ended. The idea was to encourage people to join the Navy during a time when the U.S. military was rapidly downsizing and for the military branch to foster goodwill from the public. That goodwill would hopefully translate to a larger share of the shrinking defense budget.
The Blue Angels started with old Hellcats -- now, the FA-18 Hornets are the planes of choice. The Hornets have been retired but meticulously maintained.
“They don't look like it and they don't perform like they are the oldest planes in the fleet.” says Lt Davies.
I put on my jump suit and nervously climb on board. I get strapped in. The crew chief clears us to go and we're off, and by off I mean almost straight up! Within seconds, we are at 6,000 feet.
The idea is to show me what the plane and pilots can do. We do some gentle maneuvers at first, but then the movements get more vigorous as the flight continues. The turns put two, then three, then four times the force of gravity on me.
At 5Gs, as they are called, my 160-pound body weighs 800 pounds. Davies performs combat maneuvers that all fleet pilots know. He may seem nice, but after about fifteen minutes of this, I start to think that Lt. Davies is enjoying torturing me.
Now, back to that 7G turn. Can I stay awake? Nope -- I pass out. I come to about five seconds later wondering why I’m in a plane. That was enough for me and we headed back after one more razzle dazzle turn over Ellington Field. I'm back on the ground.
My only question, why does Lt. Davies still look so young and fresh as a daisy while I look like an unmade bed?