Coast Guard air crew has their “Flying Day”

Written by Petty Officer 1st Class Adam Eggers.

It’s hard to say if propelling yourself off a 30-foot high ramp in a homemade flying machine is a good idea or not. Most people might not think it is. But a few people, a very select group, think it’s a great way to spend a Saturday.

Team Coast Guard performs

Team Coast Guard performs somersaults in their skit while in the background an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter moves into hoist position during the 2010 Red Bull Flugtag held in Long Beach, Calif. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA3 Joe Pulice.

Displaying the spirit and ingenuity of the original flight pioneers, a crew from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles participated in the 2010 Red Bull Flugtag in Long Beach, Calif.

If you’ve seen the event before you may think it’s all fun and games, but you’d be wrong … sort of.

“It was a lot of work, but we all really enjoyed it,” said AST3 Gabe Humphrey.

“Once we got this thing started, everyone at the air station wanted to chip in and help build or donate money for the materials. It was a truly Team Coast Guard effort,” AET1 Damon Miller said.

Flugtag, meaning “flying day” in German, allowed this group of Coast Guardsmen the opportunity to not only test their creativity and engineering skills but also a chance to pay tribute to those aviators who came before them.

“Kind of like it was for the Wright brothers, we went through a ton of design changes. We went through a bunch of trials and errors,” said LTJG Josh Murphy, a pilot at the air station.

Flying machine takes off

Team Coast Guard watches their “flying machine” fly off the flight deck during the 2010 Red Bull Flugtag. U.S. Coast Guard photo by PA2 Matt Schofield.

While Team Coast Guard didn’t quite enjoy the flying success of the Wright brothers, they definitely left their unique mark on the event. After the Coast Guard crew entertained the crowd and took the plunge on their paper mache helicopter, the captivated crowd of 105,000 people went wild as they performed an over flight and rescue demonstration with the real MH-65 Dolphin helicopter.

The fun event was also a huge chance to build community relations and educate the public on Coast Guard mission execution.

“This has been awesome. We’ve done so many interviews and taken pictures with hundreds of people, shy little kids and even a few veterans. It’s been a blast,” said Murphy, sopping wet after his flight but obviously proud of his team.

Team Coast Guard included LTJG Josh Murphy, AET1 Damon Miller, AST1 Stephen Nicoll, AET3 Dal Blocker and AET3 Corey Mason.

Flugtag video

Click through to see a video of Team Coast Guard in action!

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