BYU staffer scores ride with Navy topgun

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BYU career relationship manager Monte Marshall in the cockpit of a Navy F/A-18 Blue Angel. (Monte Marshall)

A BYU career relationship manager had the thrill of his life this Pioneer Day, when he flew over Southern Utah with the Blue Angels.

Monte Marshall, who was selected by the U.S. Navy’s famous demonstration flight squadron as a VIP key influencer, spoke with The Universe about his experience taking a back seat to Navy topgun Lt. Ryan Chamberlain.

Marshall and one other lucky VIP who flew with Chamberlain were shown no mercy in the F/A-18 jet, which is capable of traveling at moch 1.8 speed—approximately 1,400 mph. At one point, Marshall even blacked out for a few seconds and his gum floated out of his mouth while diving at about 8 g, but Chamberlain said both guests handled their first flights well.

Monte Blue Angel
Monte Marshall poses on a St. George runway with a Navy F/A-18 Blue Angel. (Monte Marshall)

“That’s going to happen,” Chamberlain said. “Some folks are going to black out, some are going to maybe lose their lunch a little bit, but that happens. It’s just a part of becoming acclimated to the airplane. It’s warm outside and being in the back seat and not in control. It’s similar to people being car sick.”

According to the Blue Angels’ website, “The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.”

A full video of Marshall’s flight can be found here.

During demonstrations, six F/A-18 Blue Angels fly together in formations at speeds of up to 700 mph.
During demonstrations, six F/A-18 Blue Angels fly together in formations at speeds of up to 700 mph. (Monte Marshall)
straight up
(Monte Marshall)
upside down blue sky
(Monte Marshall)
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