Blues push the limits with David Gonzalez
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) —
For those lucky enough to climb in a F/A-18 Hornet with the Blue Angels - it's the ride of a lifetime.
Channel 3's David Gonzalez got that opportunity.
"This aircraft is capable of some really really cool stuff, really intense stuff," said Crew Chief Blue Angel #7 Anthony Batronis. " I would highly recommend pushing the limits. You don't get to ride in an F/A-18 very often so I would test yourself, test the aircraft."
But first you have to know exactly what you're getting into before beginning to test yourself.
VIDEO: See David's entire flight here.
Batronis briefed information on what to expect during the flight. He reviewed all the gadgets in the cockpit, including what not to touch.
He also informed me on what to do to combat G-forces.
"Let's say your 100 pounds. If you're pulling seven G's your body feels like it's 700 pounds," Batronis said. "In order to stop the blood flow, we're going to flex all of our muscles to try and cut off the flow."
Batronis even had tips on how to handle the flight if you start feeling sick.
"If you do get sick it doesn't mean that your rideis over, so don't be afraid to let it out if you need to," he explained.
After getting strapped into the backseat of the jet and some safety checks, it was time to take off.
On the runway it only took Lt. Brandon Hempler seconds to reach more than 345 miles an hour.
On his command we rocketed into the sky in what is called a maximum performance climb; hitting five and a half G's almost immediately.
The views became more beautiful as we made our way 60 miles into the Gulf. It started off easy testing out my G-force tolerance.
Then came the cool stuff like flying upside down and going "super sonic." It didn't take us long to get there.
Lt. Hempler then flew us vertically into the atmosphere reaching a height of 17,000 feet.
I held 7.4 G's for close to 10 seconds without passing out, but things did get a little blurry.
The trip back to NAS is when things got a little rough. I told myself that I didn't need to puke and almost made it to the end of the flight.
Before going in for a landing I was ready for one last break. This one pulled six and half G's the whole way around.
"That's it, dude. That's the worst of it right there," said Lt. Hempler. "You're a G-Monster."
A monster I was more than excited to take head-on as the Blue Angels make one of my dreams come true.