Navy’s Blue Angels may find recruits here

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 17, 2004

DEMOPOLIS – Those who had ever wondered what it would be to fly with the Blue Angels or participate in a combat mission were given the chance Thursday when a Navy flight simulator made its way to the River City’s Wal Mart.

The model F-18 Superhornet was on display for several hours to give people of all ages a chance to soar. The simulator has been traveling throughout the state and after making brief stops in Troy and Selma, made its way to Demopolis.

Petty Officer Second Class Darrell Brisker, a Navy recruiter who arrived with the simulator, said it gives everyone a chance to get a first hand view of flight.

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“You can see it all on the big screen,” Brisker said. “It lets you see exactly what you are doing the whole time.”

Brisker said the program is all about showing people the many adventures they can encounter by enlisting in the Navy.

“We had this brought here to promote the Navy,” Brisker said. “It is all about Navy awareness. We just want to let young people know about the Navy. This lets them know that there is a plan for them after high school.”

Victor Craig Jr., who recently enlisted in the Navy, has been traveling with the simulator. Craig, who is from nearby Selma, said the simulator moves in every direction to make the experience as realistic as possible.

“It moves up, down, left, right, back and forth,” Craig said. “It goes in every direction to simulate exactly what it is like to fly. It simulates the dives, rolls and other things the plane does in flight.”

Craig said there are two separate programs that give civilians many different experiences and viewpoints.

“There are two programs in this simulator,” Craig said. “The first one is a simulated combat run flying through a mountain range. It takes you through a flight then you return to the ship and land on the carrier.”

The other program gives people a chance to fly with some of the most famous pilots in the nation.

“The second program is a Blue Angels program,” Craig said. “It takes you through a flight with stunt pilots. This program also has rolls and stunts.”

The best part of the program was it was put on at no cost. Anyone who wanted to take a ride was welcome.

“It is all free of charge,” Craig said. “Anybody can come on here. It just promotes the Navy’s benefits and adventures.”

The simulator was available from 2:30 until 5 p.m. and generated a lot of interest. From Demopolis, the simulator will head to San Francisco.