BELLE CHASSE, LA (WVUE) - The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be in town this weekend as they gear up for the first air show in six years at the U.S. Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans this weekend.
The Angels took three riders into the skies of Belle Chasse Wednesday morning to get a taste of the G-force their pilots deal with every day. Belle Chasse High School Principal Jemi Carlone took the first flight early Wednesday morning, preparing with a pre-flight briefing and breathing exercises to fight against the pressure of the G-forces.
Carlone flew with Navy Lt. Brandon Hempler, who didn't miss a beat sending the principal into a 5-G climb from takeoff.
"We did a high performance climb up to about 6,000 feet and we could've kept going, but we leveled off at 6,000. She had a great time. We pulled 5.5 Gs doing that maneuver and it was fun," Hempler said.
Carlone wasn't as quick to describe the initial climb as "fun."
"Terrifying and exhilarating all at once," she said. "You think you know what's about to happen and it's just - there aren't any words, I'm trying to think of what the words are, but it's definitely a bucket list. What a moment!"
During the flight, Hempler demonstrated several aerial maneuvers and took Carlone over her school, buzzing the campus.
"I wanted to share this with the students of Belle Chasse High School, and to my surprise they were on the football field and they made the shape of a heart on the football field, and so that really meant a lot to me. And it was just more emotion you know, in a place I love so much, that gave this opportunity," Carlone said.
The community will get a chance to experience the Blue Angels firsthand this weekend at the Naval Air Base in Belle Chasse during the air show, which offers free parking and admission on Saturday and Sunday.
"It just really makes you appreciate what these men and women do for us and we hear these planes in the Belle Chasse community and we get aggravated because we have to stop our lesson or whatever, but it kind of puts it all in perspective that they're so talented and trained and they're doing this all for us," Carlone said.