Len Stevens' Sky-High Adventure with the Blue Angels
Len's whole flight with the Blue Angels was captured on video. To see a full recap of his experience, click the video clip called "Len Stevens Flies with the Blue Angels."
Lynchburg, VA - It takes years of dedication and training to become a Navy pilot and even more to be part of the most prestigious flying team in the world.
So it's safe to say ABC 13 anchor Len Stevens is very lucky he got to go along for a ride with the Blue Angels Wednesday. They are in town preparing for this weekend's airshow.
Len and two other VIP fliers went through a training session beforehand where they learned how to handle the extreme gravitational pull they would experience.
Then for 45 minutes Wednesday afternoon, he flew with NAVY Blue Angel Lieutenant Dave Tickle in the F/A 18 Hornet, a $35 million aircraft that'll do pretty much anything the pilot tells it to.
Len started strong handling High-G maneuvers through the HIC procedure. He squeezed his leg and stomach muscles and held his breath to keep from passing out. Then they took a 7.2G turn, which means he felt more than seven times heavier.
As powerful as the Hornet is, it's also graceful. In between moves like the Barrel Roll, Loops, and the Immelman, there was pure peace, Len described.
But the big moves got Len's adrenaline pumping. And he handled them all. Lieutenant Tickle even called him a G Monster, filling him with confidence he was ready for anything.
However - before one final turn, he passed out. It was just for a few seconds, and Len said he didn't even realized it happened.
You can see photos of the flight on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/ABC13News.
The Lynchburg Airshow is Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.