Thursday, October 1, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of people will watch the blue Angels perform at the Miramar Air Show this weekend. But three people got the chance to actually go for a ride in one of the F/A-18 jets.
SAN DIEGO Hundreds of thousands of people will watch the Blue Angels perform at the Miramar Air Show this weekend. But three people got the chance to actually go for a ride in one of the F/A-18 jets.
The Blue Angels give rides to three people before each of their shows. The experience starts with a briefing on what to expect. Chad Swanson, crew chief for the number seven Blue Angels jet, started off by telling the passengers some basic rules.
“Basically, it’s a fighter jet, so you don’t want to touch a thing. If you touch something in the cockpit that you are not supposed to touch, something will happen,” he said.
Swanson also told the passengers to keep their heads back during takeoff. The jet goes from ground level to 2,000 feet in four seconds. If your head’s forward you’ll probably whack it on something. He demonstrated the right way to breathe so you don’t pass out when the jet starts moving really fast.
Swanson also had a few tips on how to eject and safely land your parachute if the need arises. At the end of the briefing passenger, Christopher Yanov looked a little unsure about his pending flight.
“The gray and black tunnel that they mentioned that I’d be seeing if I didn’t breath right, I think that’s a new fear. If we don’t breathe the right way we won’t be seeing very much of the flight,” he said.
Yanov was chosen for a ride because of his involvement with Reality Changers, a group that helps inner city kids go to college. Padres General Manager Kevin Towers and Dr. Judith Henderson of Whittier’s Rio Hondo College were also selected for flights.