VTANG Kicks Off Pats Game - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

VTANG Kicks Off Pats Game

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From Burlington to Foxboro.  247 miles.  In just 23 minutes.

Four F-16's piloted by Vermont Air National Guardsman took off from the Burlington International Airport this afternoon bound for Gillette Stadium and the AFC Championship.  "As you're flying in, the jumbotron is on the far end, it's on the south end of the field, says lead pilot Lt. Colonel Thomas 'T.J.' Jackman.  "Last time I did it we were about 3 miles out and I could see us flying into the stadium on the jumbotron.  You can actually hear the roar of the crowd through your headset while you're flying over." 

The Green Mountain Boy's were part of the pre-game ceremonies, performing the fly over, buzzing the Pats faithful at 400 miles per hour.

"We've timed the National anthem, today it's going to take 80 seconds.  Once he calls 'hack' I figure out the speed I have to go to get there.   Now it's my job as the flight leader to make sure all four of us are going over right at the last note."

After the fly over the pilots, all Patriots fans, get first class treatment.  A police escort from the airport to the game, along with sideline seats. 

"I've got a dozen of my friends from high school so I e-mailed them all and said hey just want to let you guys know I got selected to lead the fly by for the Patriots game.  One of the guys comes back and says hey I'll be thinking of you while I'm freezing in the stands and you're sitting down there hanging out with the cheerleaders.  So I told him, I'll let you know what kind of perfume they wear."

Mike McGill

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