Top Gun: Flying With The Blue Angels Up North
Three Michigan residents recalled what it's like to fly with the Navy's Blue Angels during the Cherry Festival air show in Traverse City.
The Air Show Is The Crown Jewel Of The Cherry Festival
The Festival takes place the first week of July every year, and the sir show at Cherry Capital Airport is one of the biggest attractions. This year, the air show will be the opening weekend of Cherry Fest, July 2-3.
Over the course of the Blue Angels multiple appearances at the festival, some local residents had the opportunity to fly with the precision pilots, and it left all of them with the memory of a lifetime.
They recently sat down with the Traverse City Tourism team to recollect some of those fond experiences with them.
Guest Fly For 45 Minutes With The Jets, And That's More Than Enough Time
“The next morning, I got up and I hurt all over the place,” Jon Russell said about his flight. “My ankles hurt, my legs hurt, my toes hurt. Not just from the G-force, but the strain of holding on to the whole experience.”
But achy legs aside, it remains one of his fondest memories. “I’m still on a high from the trip.” That's quite an endorsement, considering he flew with them twenty years ago in 2002.
Melissa Smith, who was an Angels guest six years ago, gathered herself to be in the moment, and she was over come with emotion.
“I could see the Leelanau, and Old Mission Peninsula and I saw West Grand Traverse Bay and East Grand Traverse Bay, and I started to cry,” said Smith. “I will never forget this because I said, this is my favorite place on earth, my home.”
Third Flyer Was Surprised By The Physical Demands Of High Speed Flight
Also talking in the video, which was hosted by Mike Kent of TC Tourism, was Scott Herzberg, who flew with the group in 2014.
“What surprised me the most was how difficult it was, physically demanding,” said Herzberg. “I came down and I was euphoric, and my adrenaline was running. I came down from that natural high and was saying, alright it’s nap time.”
The Blue Angels will perform as part of the National Cherry Festival Air Show, July 2 – 3 with show center off the Traverse City Open Space.