05/13/07 — Angels fly; Knights fall; Eagles roar

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Angels fly; Knights fall; Eagles roar

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 13, 2007 2:02 AM

At close to 3 p.m. Saturday, Noah Taylor looked at his mother, Patty, and said it all.

"Mom, did you hear that? The Blue Angels are about to fly," the 9-year-old Goldsboro native said. "Here we go."

The Navy's precision flight team was back in the skies for Wings Over Wayne, its first performance since Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Davis' fatal crash over Beaufort, S.C. last month.

As members of the team made their way through the crowds, they were stopped often by supporters and well-wishers.

"I just told them how sorry I was about what happened and how glad we were they were back," Bobby Miller said. "I think this is going to be a special show."

And it was for the 100,000-plus who turned out on the flight line to see the elite aviators fly.

The Angels were one of several high-profile acts to hit the skies over cheering fans at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

The 4th Fighter Wing's own F-15E Strike Eagle Demonstration Team, Tora! Tora! Tora! and the U.S. Army Golden Knights set the stage for the final act of the day.

"I want to skydive now," 19-year-old Virgina Hampton said after watching the Knights touch down during the morning session. "Those guys are incredible."

Her boyfriend, Luther Wilson of Goldsboro, wasn't so sure.

"Are you crazy?" he asked, a long smile across his face. "Leave it to the professionals, babe."

Others were inspired by the acts, too.

Johnston County native Andrew Hallaway said the Strike Eagle demonstration was all he needed to see.

"I'm going to be a fighter pilot," the 12-year-old said. "I'll do whatever it takes."

And then there were those who just came for the action, like Pikeville resident Mary Wiley.

"I wanted a few thrills and got them," she said. "This has been better than a nice movie, dinner, pretty much anything."

So as the Angels performance neared its end and some in the crowd began heading to the gates to beat traffic, it wasn't surprising to hear a few moans and groans.

"Now what?" 16-year-old Brice Little said.