As a kid, Glen Ridge High School Principal Ken Rota always enjoyed watching the Blue Angels, the military team of show pilots, demonstrate their aerobatic talents from the ground. Last Thursday, Rota got to enjoy seeing the team fly once again — from the back seat.
As a part of Fleet Week, the Blue Angels picked a handful of high school administrators to accompany them on a Jones Beach exhibition as a way of reaching out to the people who mold America’s youth. His name and recommendation given to the Angels by Rev. David Stinson of the Glen Ridge Congregational Church (a big name in the Naval Reserve), Rota was apprehensive about flying with the team, but ultimately “couldn’t pass on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Flying approximately 70 miles out to sea at speeds of up to 700 mph and pulling around seven G’s, the Ridgers’ principal has the bragging right of being able to say that he did not vomit during the trip. And how did he enjoy being part of the majestic display of aviation he used to watch as a child? Said Rota, “There aren’t too many men that can actually say that they have gone supersonic. It’s nice to be able to.”
And here’s how it looked from the ground.
Our newest correspondent, Noah Levinson, is a sophomore at Glen Ridge High School.