Blue Angels fly with local counselor ahead of Aviation Roundup

The Blue Angels return to Northern Nevada. A school counselor got to fly with them.
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 2:23 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Blue Angels are back in Northern Nevada ahead of the Aviation Roundup. Prior to hitting the skies over the weekend, they flew with a school counselor at Virginia City High School.

Caren Baum was chosen to fly with them because of her work with kids in Northern Nevada. She is also the co-chair of the Nevada State School Counseling Association.

“School counseling is a great profession because you get to reach out to students,” said Baum. “You work with them on so many different levels. So whether it’s academic or emotional or career and college planning. No matter what level you’re working at, you’re really reaching out one on one with kids or in small groups or in the classroom. The students enjoy it and I enjoy it. I don’t know a single school counselor who doesn’t enjoy their job.”

After a short training course, Baum headed to the Super Hornet and prepared for her flight. The flight took about 45 minutes before Baum was back on her feet.

“It’s just really smooth,” said Baum. “It almost feels like you’re just floating through the air and then he starts asking if you’re ready to have some fun and so I did.”

The pilot, Lieutenant Commander Griffin Stangel, enjoyed the flight as well.

“We went up to 7.2 gs, twice actually,” said LCDR Stangel. “She said she wanted to do it again so we absolutely did it. About 130 knots was our slowest, showcasing some of the slow-speed maneuvering. We got just under the speed of sound, getting 500 plus knots. It was a lot of fun.”

The reaction of their passengers is always his favorite part.

“It’s a lot of fun when you’re really getting after it with the g strain and really pushing yourself. If the rider is doing well, you can really push them in the back to see what it’s like flying in one of these jets.”

The Aviation Roundup is happening October 1-2 at the Minden-Tahoe Airport. Gates open at 9 a.m. with the event starting at 11 a.m. You can buy tickets and find more information here.