SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Blue Angels extended the opportunity to fly on an F-18 Hornet to our very own Samantha Fisher to experience all the jet can do.
Sam said she’s always wanted to understand a little bit of what her dad did. He flew A-4 attack jets in Vietnam.
Before the max performance take-off, spinning upside down and lopping all around, the Blue Angels try to prepare you for what it’s like inside the F-18.
“It was always one of these things; I’ve always wanted to be a pilot,” said Todd Harris, a teacher at Stuarts Creek High School.
Harris was selected to fly for all his hard work as a teacher and coach, as was John Ash, the principal of Central Magnet High School.
“I think everybody grows up dreaming of flying in a fighter jet, and so it will be exciting,” he told News 2.
For Samantha there’s that family connection with her father, Ken Hayes.
“Well, it certainly brings back memories,” the former Navy combat pilot said.
Hayes was an A-4 attack pilot with the VA 164 Ghostriders.
Sam said she always wanted to know, in some small way, what that was like.
“She’s probably not going to see anything I haven’t done-loops and all these different maneuvers, and things she’ll be doing,” her father told News 2. “So it’s just exciting because she’s heard about it her whole life.”
So with the exception of landing on an aircraft carrier, Lt. Tyler Davies showed Samantha what the Blue Angels can do-which she says is intense.
As the pilot pulled 7.4 Gs, which is more than seven times Sam’s body weight, she blacked out briefly. It happened twice.
They landed after the 40-minute flight and Sam said her stomach let her know it was long enough to be doing acrobatics in the air.
“A couple A-line rolls, we did some barrel rolls, loops, some max performance turns, air-to-air maneuvers, inverted flight,” Lt. Davies explained.
The effect on Sam’s body was exhaustion and sickness, but the effect on her mind was pure exhilaration and pride in what our military men and women do-and have done for a long time.
“I got sick on my first three flights, and you got sick on your first flight, so we have a lot in common,” Mr. Hayes said as he hugged Sam.
The Blue Angels, the Navy’s elite demonstration flight team, inspires many to dream big and take to the skies-and many more to serve in whatever way they can.
“I feel like the respect you have for the pilots is the respect you should have for every military man who puts his life on the line for our country,” Hayes told News 2.
U.S. Navy Blue Angels are performing this weekend on June 4 and 5 at the Smyrna airport.
Click here for tickets to the Great Tennessee Air Show. It’s $30 for adults, $15 for kids, and free for children under 3 years old.