PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Lots of people dream of taking a flight on a Blue Angels’ jet. News 5’s Drexel Gilbert has had that dream for a long time, ever since she was a cub reporter for News 5 back in 1985. Friday, after delays caused by injury, the pandemic, and mechanical concerns, her dream came true when she hitched a ride with Lt. Julius Bratton on jet #7. Bratton, whose call sign is “Whiskers”, took Drexel through a number of the actual high-performance rolls, loops, and vertical climbs that the pilots actually do during the airshow.

She survived pulling 6.4 G’s without getting sick or passing out, saying afterward that this was not just a dream come true and the ride of her life, it was an experience that deepened her appreciation for the entire Blue Angels team that pulls together to make this elite squadron the “best of the best.”