Last weekend the MGAS Team started our 2009 season and “what a way to start”! On Thursday evening, I made a presentation to the local EAA Chapter where I spoke about my airshow and Red Bull Air Race flying but also gave the EAA members an “under the skin” look at our beautiful EXTRA 300SHP. During the presentation, I educated the group of avid aviators on the benefits of Castrol Aviator, Lycoming Thunderbolt engines, Champion Aerospace products, our Hartzell composite prop, as well as the products of our other valuable partners.

Friday was a day to remember. First, we did a press show in the morning immediately followed by autographs in the VIP Tent with children who got a private airshow as part of an event put on by the “Make a Wish Foundation”. There were a lot of kids who had a special day at the show and we were very happy to be a part of it.

After lunch, I was invited by the Blue Angels to ride in the back seat with my friend and Lead Solo for the Blue Angels Nate “Corky” Miller, during their Friday practice show. It started by sitting in on the briefing, then off to the jet to get strapped in. Soon enough, the Blues started their legendary “walk down” and Nate greeted me as he climbed in the front of the FA-18 Hornet.

The flight was amazing and it went by too quickly. We did the Minimum Radius Turn (MRT), High Speed “Sneak Pass”, and many others which are made famous by the team. It was very humbling for me to be invited to fly with the team and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.

The Blue Angels are certainly impressive in the air, but they are even more so on the ground. Everything they do is critiqued for perfection, including their “walk down” and taxi back etc. After spending the day with them, it is obvious why they are so great at what they do. They are always striving for that perfect performance.

The “Boss” and the entire team made me feel welcome as they included me in their days flight activities. The 2009 Blue Angels are truly an inspiring group of people.

The Florida International Airshow was a huge success as they broke attendance records for the weekend. This show is in its 30th year and obviously going strong. It was an honor for us to be invited to participate in this great event.