Joint Base Andrews Air Show: Teacher gets to soar with Blue Angels
The Navy's Blue Angels, which are in town for this weekend's Joint Base Andrews Open House and Air Show, define extreme flying. They do intricate maneuvers at high speed, sometimes just 18 inches apart.
They barrel roll, pull 6 G's and fly nose down. Want proof? Ask Piccowixen Middle School counselor Bill Marchione. He was nominated by co-workers at the Charles County school for the Blue Angels' Key Influencer program.
His reward was to go up into the air with the squad.
"It's an honor to be here, but I don't do it alone," Marchione said. "The people who nominated me for this do a great job as well."
But after he helped to start two programs at his school aimed at helping kids perform better and enhancing the school's anti-bullying program, he got to soar like an eagle with some of the nation's most elite pilots.
He didn't even throw up.
"I didn't puke and I didn't pass out," Marchione said. "(It's) definitely something I'd thought about doing all my life...now I can cross that off my bucket list."
While you might not be able to get into the backseat of a Blue Angel, there's still going to be plenty to see from the ground when the show opens to the public at 8 a.m. Saturday.
From classic aircraft to fighters and freighters, the nearly 200,000 who are expected to attend the three-day event will get to see the whole gamut of air activities.
Admission to the air show is free, but you can't park on the ground of Joint Base Andrews. You can either park at FedEx Field or take Metro to the Branch Avenue station. Shuttle buses will be available at both locations to take you to the air show.