Volunteer Susan Hammerling Takes A Ride On the Wild Side
By Maria Sonnenberg // March 14, 2015
Hometown Hero Hitches ride with Thunderbirds
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Perform Saturday and Sunday At 3:30 p.m. With Awe-Inspiring Maneuvers At TICO Warbird Air Show
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Susan Hammerling’s emotions were all over the map as she prepped for an unforgettable ride aboard one of the legendary United States Air Force Thunderbirds.
The Melbourne resident was selected by the Thunderbirds for Hometown Hero recognition because of volunteer efforts with organizations such as The Haven, Space Coast Volunteers in Medicine and Brevard Guardian Ad Litem.
“I’m scared, I’m excited, I’m terrified, I’ve got every emotion possible,” said Hammerling, a physician assistant with Florida Dermatology Associates.
ABOVE VIDEO: Parachuting, dogfights and amazing aerial feats will thrill you at the 38th Annual TICO Warbird Airshow coming March 13-15 to the Space Coast Regional Airport.
A month ago, when Hammerling received the call that notified her of her selection, she thought someone was pulling her leg.
“At first I thought it was a prank call,” she said.
On Thursday, Hammerling was being fitted for her Top Gun-type gear at Patrick Air Force Base, awaiting the arrival of the Thunderbirds, which flew in from their home base in Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, to wow the 65,000 visitors expected at the Tico Warbird Air Show, which runs from Friday, March 13, through Sunday, March 14.
The Thunderbirds close the show’s aerial performances in impeccable style each day at 3:30 p.m. with a one-hour show of awe-inspiring maneuvers.
In addition to the Thunderbirds, the show features military and civilian aircraft displays, flight simulators, airplane and helicopter rides and aerial demonstrations.
The show runs from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Tickets, which are $18 for adults and $5 for children five to 12, are available online at vacwarbirds.net or at the door.