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Former-Blue Angels pilot reflects on time before air show

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HAVELOCK, N.C. (WNCT) – “We do this every day and every day it’s exciting and we just can’t wait to share it with people of North Carolina and Cherry Point area,” said Ben Flynn, executive officer of the Blue Angels.

That’s one of the current Blue Angels’ pilots that will be seen this weekend in Cherry Point.

9 On Your Side sat down with a former pilot who now lives in New Bern. He talked about his time with the group and how it’s impacting life now.

Ben Hancock, a New Bern resident, is a retired marine, delta pilot and a former-Blue Angel.

“You know, of course I was shocked, then they called me and I almost thought it was a prank call from the boss saying congrats you made the team,” said Hancock.

He flew with the Blue Angels from 1993 to 1995 and says one of this fondest memories was flying right here in the East.

“To me, it meant a lot to get a poster from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point,” added Hancock.

It wasn’t an easy road for him. He says he spent years training to become a Blue Angel.

“If you want to fly airplanes and really do something challenging, in the Navy the Blue Angels is the top of the games in terms of flying”

Being at the top of your game also means consistently being on the road performing.

“it’s all about flying the best possible demonstration you can, whether it’s practice or show, it doesn’t matter, same maneuvers, same intensity, same expectations, same standards,” said Hancock.

While he has hundreds of memorabilia of his time as a Blue Angel, Hancock says some stick out more than others.

“These books here, I just kept all of the letters that people sent me, so this is really what I think epitomizes being a Blue Angel,” Hancock said.

Hancock says he’ll be on the edge of his seat for this year’s show.

“But, you can’t help but think as they’re flying, I’m flying, mentally I’m still flying on a #2 jet, visualizing what he’s doing and sometimes the hands start moving and you have to sit on your hands then you start getting delusional thinking I can still do that.”

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