Laura Hutchinson flying with the Navy Blue Angels!

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Days before the Great New England Air Show, 22News gave you an exclusive look at what it’s like to fly in a fighter jet.

Late Wednesday morning, 22News Reporter Laura Hutchinson got into an F-18 Hornet, which can fly at almost twice the speed of sound. It is one of the jets from the Navy Blue Angels demonstration team, which performed during the weekend air show.

The mission of this famous and highly-trained team is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, through flight demonstrations and community outreach. They hope that young people will be inspired to join the military in some capacity.

They dazzle you with their speed and precision and they make it look easy, but take it from me, a first-timer in the cock-pit of a Boeing F/A-18 jet, it takes training and lots of stamina and a tough stomach to get in one of those.

Before you can even get in as a passenger, you have to teach your body how to adjust to the intense speed and pressure changes. Then, they gave me a tour of the cock-pit I was flying in and basically said, ‘don’t touch anything’ because you could trigger the ejection seat and seriously shorten the flight.

Before you know it, you’re clear for take-off and shooting into the sky like a bullet. In an aircraft that can fly almost twice the speed of sound. We dipped and rolled, flew through the clouds and hung upside down soaring over the Connecticut River. It’s enough to make some people pass out. I luckily stayed awake, but admittedly lost it elsewhere.

The 40 minute flight left me exhausted and, at times, working hard to stay conscious, while my incredible pilot Capt. Jeff Kuss experienced the same ride, all while manning the aircraft and talking to air traffic control. I can only imagine what’s it’s like to also fly in formation with other jets, just inches away, as they will this weekend.

Capt. Kuss was modest about his success but proud to be a blue angels pilot, and even prouder to futher the mission of the U.S. Navy. “The goal really is to represent the fleet navy and marine corps first, so we want to make sure we do a good job of that, but also we want to invoke a sense of pride and excellence out of people in every facet of life,” Capt Kuss said.Play the video below to get a look at Laura’s takeoff:For More Information:

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