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October 8, 2008 7:41 PM   Subscribe

I want to fly with the Blue Angels. How?

She did it. An NFL player got to do it. Joe Rogan did it. This guy who was a "Photojournalist for the Hartford Courant" got to do it. (Not exactly an elite member of the press, right?) So... why cant I? Theyre coming to the bay area (my area) soon! Its probably too soon to go for a ride this week but Im willing to wait a year or two (is there a waiting list?) if necessary. Can I pose as a journalist to get a ride? Who do I have to know? Can I pay to get a ride? Ill pay almost anything. Ive seen similar kinds of experiences you can sign up for. But something tells me they just arent the same as the real deal. The ideal flight Id like to take is the one that Patrick Raycraft went on. It would be nothing less than a dream come true. This is on my List of Things I MUST Do Before I Die and any information you have leading to my completion of this task would be greatly apprciated.
posted by ElmerFishpaw to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Interesting question. I found this here:

"What are the policies/requirements governing back seat flights in the number 7 jet?
Orientation flights are given to three members of the local media at each show site. Individuals must be accredited members of the media and are recommended by Navy recruiters and air show sponsors, then reviewed and approved by the Blue Angels. A small number of VIP orientation flights are also offered each year to individuals from television, sports, music and the movie industry. These individuals are selected by the Blue Angels to generate national media coverage and convey a positive image of the squadron and the Navy/Marine Corps. These flights are in direct support of Navy and Marine Corps recruiting objectives."

So, looks like you may be out of luck. A friend went up for a ride in a privately owned Saab Viggen. I think he paid like $1k for a half hour flight, but I could be wrong.

Yes, I'd love to do it too, but I don't think I'll be able to in a Blue Angles F/A-18, barring a career change. :P
posted by Tu13es at 7:55 PM on October 8, 2008

Do you know anyone in the military? Preferably someone high ranking? Preferably someone high ranking who has flown jets for the military?

You have to know someone or be someone in order to fly with the Blue Angels. My cousin was a Blue Angel.* They really don't just give rides to everyone. Can you imagine if they did? There'd be lines from Pensacola to Fairbanks.

However, if you don't know someone or if you aren't someone then I'd suggest you call the organization. Talk to their PR folks. If you do a friend of rank in the military they will at least be able to work through the organization tree but, honestly, it seems kind of like a very slim possibility.

*yes, it's totally awesome
posted by amanda at 7:57 PM on October 8, 2008

Yep, the military only takes up its own troops and the press. There's also a lot of liability aspects that the US military doesn't want to deal with. Your best bet is to save up and get a flight from one of the veteran pilots in Moscow.. there's a few outfits that do this. I don't think anyone's flying jet trainers in the US, though I may be mistaken.
posted by crapmatic at 8:17 PM on October 8, 2008

Do you know anyone in the military? Preferably someone high ranking? Preferably someone high ranking who has flown jets for the military?

No way, it's not going to happen... I was in AF flight operations and I've never heard of the average Joe getting a flight.
posted by crapmatic at 8:18 PM on October 8, 2008

If you're an airshow announcer, you might get to tandem jump with the US Army Golden Knights demonstration team-- Rob Reider apparently did, per his patter for their show last weekend at MCAS Miramar. It's not the Blue Angels, but it's something-- they obviously let *some* civilians jump with them, sometimes.

As for the Blue Angels, it sounds like you'd have to be a member of the media to score a ride.

You could, perhaps, get your pilot's license and then go to someplace like the Jet Warbird Training Center in New Mexico and fly an L-39. The L-39's a pretty sturdy little jet trainer-- the Patriots demo team flies them, if you need some YouTube reference.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:10 PM on October 8, 2008

How a bout a MIG?
posted by rhizome at 9:39 PM on October 8, 2008

The DirecTV Rewards Visa card [pdf of catalog]* has a couple "fighter pilot for a day" rewards. Of course for the cheapest I think you have to save up 145,000 points (I think the other is around 400,000) - neither are with the blue angels either, unfortunately.

*I have no affiliation with DirecTV, I just remember seeing the ad
posted by chndrcks at 6:04 AM on October 9, 2008

Long shot - ask your Congressional Reps. If you have a Rep on the Armed Forces Committee, or with a lot of pull, maybe it could happen. You could say it's a lifelong dream, and offer gobs of money to the local United Way, or some other widely accepted charity.
posted by theora55 at 8:16 AM on October 9, 2008

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