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Eau Claire leaders take flight with Blue Angels

Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) — Two Eau Claire representatives now know what it’s like to be a U.S Navy Blue Angel.
Community leaders Pamela Speckien and Tom Munson were selected through the Key Influencer program to fly in the backseat with a Blue Angels pilot at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport.
Speckien and Munson were chosen based on their recruiting ability for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Munson said, “It’s a chance to share with the youth today, the people that might want to go into the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, to let them know what a thrill this really is and what these guys and gals do for our country.”
Speckien added, “I was nominated and selected by the Blue Angels so it’s quite an honor to have this opportunity.”
Flying with the Blue Angels is no easy ride, participants were instructed to eat light and not drink any alcohol the night before.
They were also told that 45 minutes in the air would be like a two hour workout at the gym but Munson said it’s all worth it.
“The chance of flying with a Blue Angel, yeah it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” said Munson.
Blue Angels Crew Chief Eli Lang said it’s not your average flight.
“I guess you can say it’s like a roller-coaster on steroids especially when you’re doing the G maneuvers,” said Lang.
Lang says he preps the participants with breathing techniques to help riders stay conscious
“Your body is constantly trying to keep the blood flow up into your head to prevent yourself from passing out,” explained Land. “You feel all the pressure on your limbs, and you’re squeezing your muscles and your abdominal muscles. It’s a pretty big deal especially when you’re not used to it.”
However, going 7.3 G’s, Speckien says it was hard but well worth the ride.
“I never thought in my lifetime I’d be up in a jet ride pulling that kind of G-force and I’m here to tell about it,” said Speckien. “Their techniques, it’s incredible, it was an incredible ride.”
Munson added that it truly is a once in a lifetime experience.
“I’ll remember it forever,” said Munson. “Absolutely incredible.”
Hello Wisconsin meteorologist Monica Ott was scheduled to be one of the three community leaders flying however her flight was cancelled because of a mechanical issue.
Her flight is rescheduled for Friday morning at 9:30.
The Blue Angels will be flying in the Chippewa Valley Air Show at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport on July 4th and 5th.