MAYPORT, Fla. -- If you're heading to the beach this week, look up. Eighteen aerial acts are making their way to Jacksonville Thursday for the Sea and Sky Spectacular.
Action News Reporter Amanda Warford had the rare opportunity to fly with the Blue Angels on a 45-minute VIP ride. The Blue Angel F-18's can perform 7.5 G's, reach top speeds of 1,400 miles per hour, climb to 50,000 feet. Lt. Mark Tedrow, who has more than 1,500 flight hours, led the VIP flight Wednesay and promised an unforgetable ride.
Take off consisted of flying 50 feet above ground and a 90 degree turn upwards. In all, Warford survived 11 twist and turn manuevers, all of which will be performed at the Sea and Sky Spectacular this weekend.
Warford learned the "hick move" during an hour of pre-flight training, which kept her conscious during the most intense moves, including two that pulled 6 G's and broke the speed of sound. During the move, Tedrow instructed her to tighten her legs and stomach and take half breath's while saying the word "hick" over and over. That move kept the blood flowing to her brain. While she didn't pass out, the move also didn't keep her stomach from becoming weak. She admits to "losing it" four times during the flight. Video of those preferably forgettable moments is not available, as the Blue Angel's cockpit camera was not functioning during the flight due to a technical error.
Nonetheless, it was an experience she'll never forget, and puts a whole new perspective on the Sea and Sky Spectacular.