Being the newest flag I haven't had the chance to fly as much as the others, but boy, have I had some fun rides. Our custodians try to even things out and lots of it is pretty much chance. Like this ride. They were out on the grounds walking around and I was the only flag that wasn't already with someone. They ran into this young man at a booth near the flight line. He was representing the Growlers and talking about the interesting work they do.
We asked if he would be able to take a flag up with him and he agreed. He was a really interesting pilot, because unlike most pilots we interview, he hadn't wanted to be a pilot his whole life. He'd actually gone to college with an entirely different goal in mind. But he decided that actually wasn't going to work after all, so he started looking for a new goal. As he related to us, he happened to go past a Navy recruiting station that sent him to talk to the officer recruiters. They recognized something in him that they knew they could use and now, many years later, he's not only a Growler pilot, he trains other Growler pilots. But again, he was prepared to take advantage of opportunities and he loves what he does. His call sign was Rabbit, by the way.
I got to fly with him in one of the Heritage Flights at AirVenture. You can see me in the window as we're in the group. Then I got an unexpected flight because later that evening some really bad weather came in. There were tornados not very far from the EAA grounds and lots of the military planes that were parked out on the grounds left so they weren't damaged by the high winds. We flew to Madison and stayed there overnight. It was a couple of days before we could all get together again so I could be passed off back to my custodians.
Every year the Growler pilots have a big banquet where they give out awards. They frequently have a film put together of some of the things they've been involved in during the year. Would you believe our flight at EAA AirVenture is in there several times? We've put the whole video at the bottom of the page. You can recognize AirVenture when you see it, probably, but it's at 3:14, 3:56, 4:04, 4:23, 5:14 and at the very end 5:41. That end shot is actually Rabbit, my pilot. I loved watching the video. Lots of people out there working really hard on our behalf.
Awesome to watch the whole thing. Several shots of the Growlers at EAA including the very ending shot
I'm in the Growler right in the middle of the screen. We were actually flying in kind of a square formation.
I love the sounds of jets