Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader blacked out a few times but was on high alert when he spotted something blue.
Speaking minutes after thrilling through a 45-minute flight with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels today, Abdelkader noted he saw parts of Ann Arbor soon after takeoff from Willow Run Airport.
Abdelkader flew with Lt. David Tickle.
“We were joking around,” Abdelkader said. “We flew over Ann Arbor, went over the Big House – if we’d had had a couple bombs on it, maybe we would have dropped a couple on there.”
Abdelkader, of course, is a former Spartan.
He spoke glowingly of the experience aboard the F/A-18 Hornet. Tickle said Abdelkader experienced 7.4 G-force, flew as high as 15,000 feet, and got up to about 550 miles per hour.
“It was pretty tough on your body,” Abdelkader said. “You’ve just got to breathe right and try to squeeze your legs and keep the blood up towards your head so you don’t black out.
I was in and out a few times, it got a little black, but I came right back. It was a lot of fun.”
Tickle said Ann Arbor was never in any danger.
“One of the maneuvers I can show him is a bombing hop,” Tickle said. “As we speak right now, we have men and women flying in Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever else. So I wanted to be able to show him kind of what we do. We just happened to be over Ann Arbor at the time and I know he’s a big Michigan State guy. So it worked out great we could pretend we were bombing Ann Arbor for him.
“Obviously I would never bomb Ann Arbor. I have nothing against Michigan.”
Per: Detroit Free Press | Photos on Official Detroit Red Wings, Facebook