YPSILANTI (WWJ) – A Detroit Red Wing will be living his dream Wednesday morning at Willow Run Airport, as Justin Abdelkader rides along with U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
“You know, I’ve always been fascinated by airplanes and fighter jets and we had an air show back in Muskegon for a number of years when I was younger and I always enjoyed watching the planes, you know, whether it was taking off and landing or in the air so, it will be quite a treat and I’m honored to have the opportunity to do it,” he said.
Abdelkader, a Michigan native, will test his mettle as Blue Angel #7, Lt. David Tickle demonstrates the skill, power and grace of the F/A-18 Hornet while performing dives, rolls and reaching speeds approaching Mach 1.
Abdelkader says he thinks his stomach will be okay, but he’s not going to eat breakfast… just in case.
“I’m expecting a pretty fun ride and obviously it’s going to be a lot of G forces on my body but I think I’m up to the challenge and excited. I don’t know about the stalls, I don’t know if that’s up there on my list. I think to see the course, when you can make a really tight turn or climb really fast or fall really fast, those are the things that first come to mind but just to see the power of the aircraft and how it can perform.”
Abdelkader is scheduled to take to the air at 10:00 AM and his ride will last approximately 45 minutes.
The Blue Angels will be in Ypsilanti as the headline act for the 2011 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show, which takes place July 23 and 24. For more information visit www.YankeeAirMuseum.org/airshow.