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Glendening gets tips before F/A-18 ride

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Danny DeKeyser gets strapped into a F/A-18 Hornet for his once-in-a-lifetime ride along with the Blue Angels last summer. (Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT Luke Glendening is about to go where few Red Wings have gone.

On Wednesday, Glendening is scheduled to fly in an F/A-18 Hornet with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

The ride along is in advance of the 2015 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, which runs Aug. 29-30.

Glendening will experience all the maneuvers the Blue Angels usually go through during a show.

The Blue Angels can go at speeds of 700 miles per hour and fly as close as 18 inches apart during certain maneuvers.

Defenseman Danny DeKeyser flew with the Blue Angels last summer. Justin Abdelkader has also done a ride along, as have former Wings Kirk Maltby and Dallas Drake.

DeKeyser, who was skating with some other players at Joe Louis Arena Tuesday, said he spoke with Glendening about it the other day.

"We were just talking about it and he's like, 'I think I'm either going to be puking or blacking out,'" DeKeyser said. "I mean, not 100 percent but that's what they told him. There's a pretty good chance that either one of those will happen. So I just gave him a few pointers. They tell you how to breathe and stuff, you gotta tighten up your legs and your abs and stuff so the blood stays in your upper extremities."

The reason for that is because the G-forces can create the effect of up to seven times your body weight.

"It's a lot of force on your body so some of the maneuvers, if you go straight up or whatever, you're just kind of sitting back and you can't move, that kind of thing," DeKeyser said. "So it's just a lot of force that you feel."

DeKeyser said Glendening's fear that he might throw up or black out is a realistic one.

"I puked once after one of the maneuvers," DeKeyser said. "I told him, 'If you're going to puke, just tell them and he'll level it out and you can pull your bag out and you can puke and be done with it and then keep going.'"

Although DeKeyser already has a nice career as a hockey player, he said it would be "sweet" to be able to fly like the Blue Angels.

"It's really exciting," DeKeyser said. "I'm glad that he's getting a chance to do it because it's really fun. I think if anybody has an opportunity to do it in their life, then they should at least try it once because it's one of those things that a lot of people don't get to usually just do on a regular, everyday basis. I just told him have fun with it. He'll have a good time."

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