LOOKBACK: Blue Angels, F-22 Raptors arrive for 2014 Thunder
The Blue Angels Flight Squadron landed in Louisville Thursday morning.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Blue Angels Flight Squadron landed at the Louisville Air National Guard Base around 10 a.m. Thursday for their performance at Thunder Over Louisville.
The Blue Angels flew in from their base in Pensacola, Florida.
A pair of F-22 Raptors got in from Virginia just after 11 a.m.
The return of the military planes to the Thunder air show is welcome after last year's show, when only civilian planes were allowed to take part in the show due to sequestration.
And if you think watching them is fun, imagine flying one.
"It's a thrill," said Captain A.J. Harrell. "It's kind of an assault of your senses."
Captain Harrell is one of six aviators flying Blue Angels over the Ohio Saturday.
Harrell's first Thunder experience dates back to when he was a college student in Indiana.
"I'm definitely excited to see it from the other angle," said Harrell. "When I found out we were going to come here and fly, it took me back... It is very exciting. It is definitely going to be a highlight of the year for me."
But for one special member of the Blue Angels team, the arrival in Louisville couldn't be any sweeter.
"This is pretty much my 'Yo Adrienne' We did it moment," said Michael Flemister of Louisville.
Flemister grew up watching the air show at Thunder, dreaming he would one day be a part of the magic.
"Seeing the Blue Angels as a kid performing at Thunder Over Louisville was amazing and now I get the opportunity to live that dream," said Harrell.
Michael enlisted in the military shortly after graduating from Pleasure Ridge Park High School.
Now as a member of the Blue Angels maintenance team, he doesn't make it home as often as he'd like. But he's happy this trip allows him to show off his city--and favorite fireworks show-- to the rest of his team.
"It's going to be amazing to see their reactions for the first time," said Harrell.
The planes were staging and undergoing maintenance checks Thursday, along with making practice runs. On Friday, the practice runs will continue.
Other military aircraft will be taking part in Saturday's air show, but they will fly in on Saturday, directly from their air force bases throughout the country and depart immediately after the show.
Copyright 2014 WDRB News. All rights reserved.