Chicago Air and Water Show Preview: Terrell Brown soars with the Blue Angels

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Blue Angel Pilot Ryan Chamberlain is from Bloomington, Ill. (WLS)

The ride began with a 90 degree vertical climb, right off the runway of the Gary Jet Center. Once above the clouds we ride out to rural Indiana, about 75 miles away.

In the open airspace I'm taken through some of the high speed aerobatic maneuvers the Blue Angels will perform during this year's airshow. Take, for instance, the Aileron Roll: a 360 degree turn in a second and a half. Then we do a loop.

The vertical break, which simulates zero gravity, felt like we were floating in the cockpit. And then there's low-altitude flying, upside down.

The toughest part of the flight is enduring sustained high G-Forces, the force of gravity felt as crushing weight on the body. The pilots are used to it, but at 7.4 Gs this is often when riders pass out.

After getting through that it was a relief to be back on the ground.

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Herb Hunter - The Voice of the Air and Water Show

The 56th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show will be held August 16 and 17 along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street. North Avenue Beach will serve as show center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Show headliners include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights.

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Leap Frog Parachuter

For more information on the Air and Water Show, visit

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Blue Angels Pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cheng

PHOTOS: Terrell Brown's Blue Angels ride
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