PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. (WALA) – The Blue Angels are set to stage their final shows of their 75th season this weekend for a local crowd.
The Homecoming Air Show always a crowd pleaser in Pensacola.
On FOX10 News alone, two people had a rare opportunity to preview the show on Wednesday, but it felt more like a first-hand experience.
Escambia County Superintendent Dr. Tim Smith was one of those lucky people selected. Wednesday morning, he was all attached to the number seven Super Hornet of the Blue Angels F / A-18.
After a few quick security checks, Smith was ready to go, and he quickly learned what it means to soar to new heights.
At the controls of the Navy fighter plane, Lieutenant Commander Julius Bratton showing Smith what he can do and for Smith this flight was a dream with a breathtaking view.
“It gave me full experience of the rollers,” Smith said. “We traveled to MACH 1, loops and all kinds of amazing maneuvers and it was absolutely thrilling.”
Then, in the hot seat, Collier County, Florida instructor Michael Toolen.
The Blue Angels are the Navy’s elite flight demonstration team, Toolen was fortunate enough to get a close-up view.
“When you watch a show you just think they’re doing that,” he said. “They work very hard, their body control. It’s unreal.
Toolen and Smith were selected by the Blue Angels for this unique ride. They were chosen because of their good work and their efforts to teach and influence students in their communities.
“It absolutely exceeded my expectations,” said Smith. “It was exciting, it was exhilarating. The views were great, a perfect day to fly.
“It’s like winning the lottery and surreal,” Toolen said. “I have no words.”
An opportunity that the two will not soon forget, since they flew with the Blue Angels.
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