Cook loves providing thrills as pilot of Fat Albert

Major Dusty Cook is in his second year as a pilot for the Blue Angels’ Hercules C-130 aircraft, Fat Albert.

And while the plane he flies isn’t as fast, loud or able to perform the tricks and maneuvers the F/A-18 that the other pilots fly in the famous Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, Cook still leaves quite an impression on those who find out he flies the plane that escorts the Blue Angels into each show.

“The thing I’ve always experienced when I tell them I’m with the Blue Angels is getting asked what number I am,” Cook said. “I tell them I don’t need a number because I fly Fat Albert. People are like ‘Oh my God, that is great.’”

Cook loves his job. He and captain Katie Higgins, his co-pilot on Friday afternoon for a media ride-along, rotate the responsibility of piloting Fat Albert.

And on this hot July afternoon in Pensacola, Cook is ready to put on a show.

“We love the media rides,” Cook said. “We love being able to tell what our mission is and how we support the fleet.”I am going to leave you guys guessing on part of the (demonstration). It’s going to be a surprise.”

Read the full story in the July 16 edition of Navarre Press or subscribe online here.

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