NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Blue Angels took to the skies Wednesday, giving a preview for their airshow this weekend.
While it was business as usual for the pilots, for their passenger, it was a ride of a lifetime. Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott went up, up and away in an F-18 super hornet, going almost as fast as the speed of sound.
“Game days are intense, but that intensity is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of,” McDermott said.
Besides the similar feeling from game days, McDermott said a lot of what he teaches his players applied to this ride.
“We talk a lot about growth mindset with the Bills, and this is certainly an adventure in that for me,” he said. “This is a once in a lifetime experience I’ll never forget.”
This ride was just a preview for what’s coming this weekend when the Blue Angels headline the first “Thunder on the Buffalo Waterfront” airshow. Originally it was going to be held at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve station but was canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
Blue Angels pilots say they’re thrilled to now be able to do something new for Western New Yorkers.
“The very nature of our services – we’re deployed on foreign lands or in the middle of the ocean somewhere, so the opportunity to come out and show this team to the public, demonstrate who we are, what we do, even in small ways is something we take great pride in,” said Cdr. Brian Kesselring, flight leader for the Blue Angels.
The “Thunder of the Buffalo Waterfront” show is set for Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
It is sold out, but if you have a boat you might have a good view to watch for free – though, it probably won’t be as good as Coach McDermott’s view.
Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.