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Robins & Estroff Take a Wild Ride

Robins & Estroff Take a Wild Ride
SETTLING INTO THE CO-PILOT SEAT – Jordan Robins waves from her copilot seat within Blue Angel 7.Photo by Makaylee Randolph
Robins & Estroff Take a Wild Ride
SETTLING INTO THE CO-PILOT SEAT – Jordan Robins waves from her copilot seat within Blue Angel 7.Photo by Makaylee Randolph

Jordan Robins and Skye Estroff had a oncein- a-lifetime experience on Wednesday, April 24, as they each took a ride on Blue Angel 7 through the Vidalia skies.

Robins was selected to ride in the famous Boe- ing F/A-18 Super Hornet as a key influencer, meaning she has contributed greatly to her community and impacted its improvement and wellbeing. Currently, she volunteers in a multitude of ways, but is best known for her work with the local United Way of Toombs, Montgomery, and Wheeler Counties. “It is a surreal experience. To be nominated as a key influencer in our community is a true honor and a privilege that I am still in slight shock about,” she remarked. “I am thankful for the countless passionate people making a difference in our community that have given me the opportunity to serve alongside them. I have seen many Blue Angels air shows over the years, but my perspective is now forever changed. I shed a tear at this year’s air show just thinking back on this week, this opportunity, and my appreciation for our military.”

Though excited for the opportunity, Robins said she felt slightly anxious about going up in the jet. “I was a little nervous when I heard the jet land earlier that morning, but after I got to the airport and saw so many people on the committee excited for me, that definitely took away some of the nerves,” she reminisced. “After my briefing with the flight crew, I was even less nervous and more just excited for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They told me we would be staying in local airspace for the flight, so I was even more excited knowing that all my friends and former students spread out across town could step outside and see (and definitely hear!) the flight.”

“I will never forget this experience, except for those seven seconds in the middle of pulling 7.6 Gs (forces of gravity) where I took a short nap,” she added with a laugh.

Jordan said her favorite part of the experience came right after takeoff, when the plane soared high into the sky. “My favorite parts were the high-performance climb at takeoff when we went straight up into the air and also when we were at 0 Gs and there was no gravity for a few seconds. Going down was pretty cool, too! I was able to see my house, my work, all the soccer fields I have officiated at this season, the onion on top of the courthouse, and so many more breathtaking views. I would do it again in a heartbeat!” she emphasized.

Estroff shared similar sentiments, as the Foodie Road Show host was se lected for the experience as the media flight. Though she does not live in Vidalia, Estroff has strong connections to the area, as her grandparents Anita and Donald Estroff are pillars of the community.

She recalled the moment she learned about the opportunity. “When Kailey (Dees) called me to let me know that I had been selected for the Blue Angels media ride, I got goose bumps from head to toe. It felt surreal and I could not contain my excitement! I immediately called my Nini and Papa (Anita and Donald Estroff), then my parents (Neal and Susan Estroff) and my brother, who is a Navy Pilot (Adam Estroff), to share the great news. I'm not a recreational runner, but I had so much excitement and energy that I bolted out of the house and went on a long celebration run after my calls!” Estroff shared.

In preparation for the ride, Estroff began researching past media rides to learn what to expect. “I'll admit I experienced some nerves. After a day of letting those possibilities sink in, I reminded myself this experience is once in a lifetime, and I can only control my mindset and preparation going into the ride. If I were to experience side effects, I told myself I wanted to just let it happen and stay in the moment for my ride. It would be worth being uncomfortable for a few minutes to experience this new perspective!” she commented.

She continued, “I prepared for my ride by doing vigorous workouts over the weeks leading into the media ride. The day before, I made sure to stay very hydrated. On the day of, I drank electrolytes, ate 'plain' foods so my stomach would stay settled, and took an antinausea medicine before the flight.”

All of Estroff’s work paid off, as she experienced a breathtaking flight full of excitement, twists, and turns. “Getting to meet the Blue Angels team was such a privilege and an honor. I'm so grateful to the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Vidalia Onion Festival for allowing me the opportunity of a lifetime. I loved getting to interact with the team and having some fun banter leading into the flight.

The whole ride was my favorite part! I loved having the support of my family and the community of Vidalia Regional Air port to cheer me on. During the flight, I actually loved battling high Gs and overcoming those forces. I did not have a 'reversal of fortune,' and I stayed conscious the whole time. Flipping upside down and seeing the world from a new perspective was an awesome treat. Lt. Connor O'Donnell walked me through the whole process, and I'm so glad he could lead me through this flight of a lifetime!” Estroff emphasized.

The ladies were each presented with a photo from the Blue Angels commemorating their flight, which both said they will treasure forever.

EXCITEMENT AND NERVES – Skye Estroff said that the experience brought a mixture of excitement and nerves as she boarded the plane.Photo by Makaylee Randolph


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