2 ArkLaTex men get ride of a lifetime with the Blue Angels

Published: May. 3, 2017 at 9:42 PM CDT|Updated: May. 3, 2017 at 10:45 PM CDT
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U.S. Navy Blue Angel 7 takes off. (Source: KSLA News 12)
U.S. Navy Blue Angel 7 takes off. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Bossier sheriff's Detective Mike Lombardino rides in Blue Angel 7. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Bossier sheriff's Detective Mike Lombardino rides in Blue Angel 7. (Source: KSLA News 12)

BARKSDALE AFB, LA (KSLA) - One of the most elite flying squads will be flying over Bossier City this weekend.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels are the main attraction at the 2017 Defenders of Liberty Airshow.

Before the team shows off its famous moves, it invited a select few inside the cockpit for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Bossier sheriff's Detective Mike Lombardino and Trey McGuire, director of the ArkLaTex nonprofit Warrior Network, suited up for a high-flying experience they'll never forget.

"I'm not doing this for anybody except for the guys that we get to serve and those who work countless hours to make sure this airshow happen," said McGuire.

It's an opportunity very few people in the world will experience.

The day started with a preflight briefing from the Blue Angels #7 crew chief.

During the briefing, time was spent walking riders through safety procedures and ways to essentially not pass out during flight.

"When the canopy closed, I realized I may not have listened to it as well during the briefing as far as how to combat or go against g-force to keep myself from passing out," Lombardino recalled. "That kind of worried me a little bit.".

His ride started with a steep climb into the gray skies over Barksdale Air Force Base.

"He told me we were going to take a steep ascent, and I wasn't ready for it when it happened," Lombardino said,

"It's indescribable. What you see is what you feel. I mean, you're there and then you look back and your vertical."
Lombardino spent the next half hour speeding over the community he serves and protects every day from the ground.

"We reached six g's at one point from doing a turn."

He didn't even lose his breakfast.

"A little queasy; I'm not gonna lie. But, overall, it was a phenomenal experience.

"These guys are masters of the sky," Lombardino continued. "They keep our sky safe and allow us to do what we do down here on the ground.

"We don't have to worry about threats because of what they're doing. Just to be able to feel and be a part of that will last me forever."

You can see the Blue Angels in person at the 2017 Defenders of Liberty Air Show this weekend at Barksdale Air Force Base.

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