INDIANAPOLIS – Jim O’Brien flew with the Angels this week.
The FOX59 meteorologist had the distinct honor of joining the Blue Angels for a once-in-a-lifetime ride. The Blue Angels are a U.S. Navy flight demonstration squadron known for their precision, high-flying aerial work.
Jim, an Army veteran, took to the skies above the Indianapolis Regional Airport Wednesday afternoon in one of the group’s F-18 Super Hornets.
“The Blue Angels are the best of the best, an extremely professional, polished, elite team of men and women serving our great country,” Jim said. “Although I’m a veteran of the Army, I have quickly become a Navy fan!”
While Jim described the experience as “exhilarating,” it’s also clear the ride was physically demanding.
“At times, I was left speechless or maybe I was just trying to catch my breath! The amount of G’s pulled in this flight were insane, peaking at 7.4 G’s, where I was close to blacking out,” he said. “My flight commander, Thomas Zimmerman, was straight business, but also knew he had a civilian in the backseat, talking me through every maneuver we conducted which helped me relax as best as possible.”
Jim said it was a complete experience from takeoff to landing.
“The takeoff was amazing, the aerial rolls and G’s pulled were shocking! I’m amazed at the sleekness and speed of the F-18 Super Hornet and what the human body can handle under such speeds at over 700 mph. The moments flying over the state of Indiana in peak fall colors were absolutely breathtaking! I’m still jacked even one day afterwards,” Jim said with a laugh.
Here’s some of the cockpit video from Jim’s flight:
“This was well beyond anything I have ever experienced in my life, truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that became available through the Boy Scouts of America. I’m so fortunate for this opportunity!”
The world-famous Blue Angels are in town for the Boy Scouts Crossroad Air Show, set for Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 at the Indianapolis Regional Airport.
Jim said the Blue Angels will perform every trick and stunt he experienced during his flight at the show, with more planes and acts thrilling crowds this weekend.
The show has been three years in the making.
“This is a big event to really fund the mission of the Boy Scouts,” said Joe Wiltrout, scout executive, president and CEO of the Crossroads of America Council Boy Scouts. He also serves as the show’s air producer.
“We’re gonna have over a thousand scouts and adult volunteers here helping support this event and then, of course, so many of our sponsors from across the area that are coming out. We’ll have show aids for the airfield and be really front row for all the festivities throughout the weekend.”
You can learn more and get tickets here.