NORFOLK, Va. - On Jan. 8, the Navy invited WSLS 10 to participate in a program called, Sailor for a Day.
I learned about it when WSLS 10 news director Rick Moll called me into the office to say/ask, “How would you like to land on an aircraft carrier?” He then when on to say/ask “and fly in a Navy helicopter and participate in water survival training.”
I was pretty gung-ho about the landing and flying part. The surviving part seemed a bit daunting to my body, now in its fifth decade.
So be it.
I signed up for the four-day program.
On Jan. 26 WSLS 10 Chief Photographer Lee Friesland and I arrived at Naval Station Norfolk where, as promised, the Navy put me through survival training, opened the doors on a helicopter and took us for a tour over the base and showed us the FA-18 hornets and super hornets at Oceana. Then for the last day, they strapped us into a smelly, stinky airplane they call a COD (carrier onboard delivery) and landed us on an aircraft carrier underway in the Atlantic Ocean.
For the next 24 hours, we lived aboard the ship, meeting some sailors from the Roanoke Valley and seeing what it’s like to live at sea. Most impressive was standing less than 50 feet from the action as the super hornets took off from the deck, shaking our bodies with the power from the catapult-assisted jet engines.
This segment is dedicated to telling you as much of this story as possible with the resources we have in today’s world.
Sure, you’ll see the six stories we prepared for newscasts, as well as the text versions of those reports.
But we’ll also include a series of vlogs, using video from a chest-mounted GoPro I wore during the survival training and much of my time on ship.
Of course, we took lots of pictures, take a look!
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