Blue Angels turn heads at Friday GGAS practice session

GGAS-Friday-09Vendors setting up Friday afternoon for The Great Georgia Air Show at Peachtree City’s Atlanta Regional Airport got an amazing Blue Angels preview performance, as four of the six performance aircraft took to the skies for an unforgettable hour of rolls, loops, high-speed passes and awesome tight-formation flying.

The U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron promises even more spectacular stunts and thrills Saturday and Sunday during The Great Georgia Air Show as all six Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets will hit the skies together.

“It’s all about max performance for numbers five and six,” said Lieutenant Ryan Chamberlain, also known as Blue Angel No. 6, who noted that while Blue Angels numbers 1 through 4 may not fly with the same intensity as 5 and 6, the first four aircraft are more about precision and tight formations that often place the F/A-18s only 18 inches apart wingtip to wingtip.

Normally, Navy and Marine Corps pilots are selected to join the Blue Angels squadron for a two-year tour, but Chamberlain has been with the Blues for three years already, and he says he has one more year to go. Prior to his current gig, he flew Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets on deployments in support of Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. When he leaves the Blues at the end of 2016, he says he will return to the fleet.

“You’re going to see everything the F-18 is capable of with the performances of numbers 5 and 6,” Chamberlain said. He said he and his partner will operate within the range of seven Gs and negative-three Gs during the performances this weekend.

In aviation, a “G” is a measure of pressure placed on the body while flying. One G feels like normal gravitational pull, and zero Gs feels like weightlessness. So pulling seven Gs will make aviators feel seven times the normal force of gravity, while negative-three Gs feels like being thrown out of your seat if not for the safety harnesses.

The other Blue Angels star, which will also be featured this weekend, is the squadron’s C-130 cargo plane called “Fat Albert”. Fat Albert is scheduled to display the unique and surprising capabilities of a C-130 during 10-minute performances Saturday and Sunday.

Get more information about The Great Georgia Air Show at www.thegreatgeorgiaairshow.com.

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About

Danny Harrison, a 1992 Fayette High School graduate, began his journalism career with Fayette County News in 1995. After taking several leaves of absence to pursue journalism and Christian ministry opportunities, including a few out of state and overseas, he returned full-time to Fayette County News in August 2014. Harrison earned a bachelor's degree in pastoral ministry in 2009 while serving as a missionary journalist in England and Western Europe.


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