SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – The man known as the Waffle House shooting hero took a once-in-a-lifetime flight Wednesday he says was the best lift he’s ever had.
Navy aircraft will be flying over Smyrna the next few days as The Great Tennessee Airshow returns this weekend.
The No.7 Blue Angels F-8 Hornet seen is this video arrived just this morning. It’s the same aircraft that James Shaw Jr. got the chance to co-pilot.
Wednesday in Smyrna James Shaw Jr. faced a new, fun challenge. He said he sees things different after the tragedy last year, but never from this particular point of view.
“If you look over your left and right shoulder, you’ll see we are quickly flying away from the ground,” he told WKRN.
Even as they fly at the speed of sound, Shaw manages to take a few selfies. However, when the pair hit 6 Gs, that threw him off for a moment.
But there’s a moment Shaw can’t fight the acceleration.
“I was like a fan up there,” Blue Angel pilot Lt. Cary Rickoff said. “I was asking him his story and I wanted to hear more about it. It was an honor for me to get him up there.”
Upon his return to the ground, Shaw said he has a new appreciation for the Navy’s Blue Angels.
“Just appreciation for what they do, and thankful for what they do for our country, and what they do for us to be able to be over and be free,” he told WKRN.
Shaw said he’s also thankful for the platform to talk about what happened on April 22, 2018.
“I’m glad people can hear the story, hear about the people who lost their lives and the legacy we’re trying to continue to push forward,” Shaw said. “I’m grateful we have support from our navy and everybody else around us. it means a lot.”
Shaw passed out… but did he get sick? Here’s what he told us:
“Definitely don’t eat M&Ms — I can neither confirm nor deny.”
More Blue Angels planes will be arriving on Thursday. The Great Tennessee Air Show takes place on June 8 and 9 in Smyrna.