Editor’s Note: Members of the South Texan were invited by Fat Albert Airlines to do a ride along with the Blue Angels. This entailed experiencing zero gravity, a 45-degree take-off, and the privilege of a lifetime. Aboard the C-130 were reporter MaryBeth Cleavelin, sports editor Colton Williams, reporter Amber Aldaco, and web manager Sabrina Reyna. This is a first person account by MaryBeth Cleavelin:
The plane jolted up at a 45 degree angle and we were off the ground. Everyone’s face held anxious smiles, as we didn’t know what to expect. I clutched my “yell bag” and prayed I wouldn’t get sick. I double-checked my seatbelt just as an extra force of gravity weighed down on my body. Then, everyone shrieked as we hit zero gravity and everything not bolted down levitated for a few seconds.
This is the closest I will ever get to war, hopefully.
As part of the Wings Over South Texas air show this past weekend, the C-130 aircraft took a few lucky civilians and military personnel for a joy ride courtesy of the Blue Angels.
The pilots, U.S. Marines, kept us entertained while they did their checklist on the speaker in what seemed like pirate voices.
Three other Blue Angels stood in the cargo area with us to ensure our safety.
We only hit two “G’s” which makes your body feel twice its weight. Had we been in a jet, it would have been more extreme and would have caused us to pass out.
The C-130 is used for transporting cargo and service men and women to dangerous war zones. It can land on a dime and takes off with very little runway space.
The entire flight took around 20 minutes and was the best roller coaster anyone could engineer. Yes, better than the Gravitron seen at carnivals.
Check back later for the Wings Over South Texas slideshow.