ORCHARD PARK, NY (WIVB) — Three years ago, when Major Matthew Blue got to fly a C-130 plane over than New Era Stadium during the national anthem of a Buffalo Bills game, it was a dream come true for the Air Force pilot who grew up in the Cattaraugus County Town of Portville.
“It was surreal, to say the least,” said Blue, a lifelong Bills fan, who twice had the chance to play football in the stadium as a high school player for the Portville Panthers.
Now he’ll get to do another flyover this Sunday.
“It is absolutely surreal to get to do it again and the hype surrounding the 2021 Bills season, it’s incredible, and we have a group chat with all my buddies back home and half of my fantasy team is Buffalo Bills players,” said Blue. “It’s a long time coming and I couldn’t be more happy and proud to represent Western New York, my community, my family, the Bills Mafia and the Hercules nation, for the C-130 world.”
He’s stationed with the 62nd Airlift Squadron at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas but will bring the C-130 J-model up a day in advance. “People in Western New York can expect to see the plane buzzing around a little bit on Saturday as we do some low-level training in the hills and valleys out there that I call home.”
At 1 p.m. on Sunday, he’ll be approaching High Mark Stadium. “And you can see the fans cheering, and it’s, there’s no words for it. It is awesome.”
Sunday also happens to be a special day for his dad, Senior Master Sergeant Lesley Blue retires from the Air Force Reserves after 31 years. “For his last day of service to see me come over the stadium like that, it’ll be very, very special for our family specifically.”
September also happens to be Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so Major Blue will be flying over the stadium using the call sign ‘Colt-45’ in support of a boy named Colt Matz, who just turned 11 this week.
“My little buddy Colt Matz. He’s at Oishei Children’s Hospital and he’s in the fight. So, we’re here to raise awareness and this flight is for him,” said Major Blue. “If anybody sees that airplane flying Sunday, the call sign will be Colt-45.”
George Richert is an award-winning reporter who first joined the News 4 team in 1998, later returning in 2018. See more of his work here.
New on WIVB.com
- Doggone surprise: Trenton Thunder’s “bat dog” runs onto Sahlen Field during Bisons game
- Colorado student arrested after threat had ‘large cache of weapons’ on campus
- A new Erie County program is giving a local man a second chance after pleading guilty to a felony
- Home sales dipped in August after two months of increases
- Pair of Kansas grade school boys jump fence to rescue infants from pool